Epididymitis is a possible adverse effect following a vasectomy procedure. The narrow and tightly coiled tube, epididymis, links the vas deferens to the posterior surface of the testicles.

In some cases, this tube is inflamed as a result of the vasectomy operation. The region gets very tender and brings more pain to the patient. 

A few doctors recommend the use of anti-inflammatory medicine to the patients diagnosed with epididymitis (1). Roughly a week post-surgery, the swelling is expected to subside without any critical problems.

What to Expect

Though rare, abscesses may happen after a vasectomy procedure. An abscess occurs due to a post-operative infection, typically in the operating area. Antibiotics are required for the treatment of abscesses. 

If left untreated, the abscess may fill up with fluid and require drainage. If you suspect that you may have an abscess, you must seek medical care at once to prevent deterioration of your condition. It is a complication that rarely happens, but if it occurs, it usually strikes within the first year after a vasectomy (2).

Nonetheless, now and then, it can come up years following the procedure.

The most common signs of epididymitis include:

  • pain in the scrotum that varies from mild to severe
  • groin pain when lifting objects
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • slight fever
  • pain when ejaculating
  • swollen testicles

Treatment for Epididymitis

Since epididymitis results from a bacterial infection after vasectomy, treatment begins with an antibiotics medication to eradicate the condition. It is coupled with pain management through scrotal support, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, and applying cold or heat. Conservative therapies involving reduced activity are also incorporated.

If you continue to experience massive discomfort following a couple of months under conservative pain management, you may need additional chronic pain treatments.

These treatments entail tricyclic antidepressants, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation analgesia (TENS), or local steroids. Surgery can provide relief for people whose pain persists even after receiving non-surgical treatments (3).

Some of the surgical options are:

  • Vasovasostomy
  • Epididymectomy
  • Orchidectomy
  • Spermatic Cord Denervation

Lowering Your Risk of Epididymitis

Nowadays, urologists have modified a few things for the vasectomy technique to reduce the risk of the patient developing epididymitis post-vasectomy.

Since one possible inflammation cause is pressure in the epididymis from sperm build-up, the surgeon conducts an open-ended vasectomy operation.

In the surgery, one end of the patient’s vas deferens is uncauterized and, as such, relieves pressure and reduces the probability of masses or sperm granulomas that result from an immune response to sperm leakage from the already cut vas.

A different treatment is preemptive analgesia where the urologist uses local anesthetics and fills it in the vas deferens before cutting it. Both physicians and researchers are yet to understand more concerning epididymitis as a complication post-vasectomy, including its cause and other prevention (4).

Controlled studies concentrating on recent vasectomy treatments, the function of the body’s immune system after vasectomy, and sperm granuloma contribution in epididymitis would be helpful.

These studies can help build a more thorough understanding of the condition and the best course of treatment.

Infection After Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a generally safe and widely used type of birth control.

However, if you notice any persistent scrotal swelling or pain after a vasectomy, you must consult your doctor.

Links to Sources Used: 

  1. An overview of the management of post-vasectomy pain syndrome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854072/
  2. Seminal vesicle abscess after vasectomy: evaluation by transrectal sonography and CT https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3296708/
  3. Chronic Epididymitis: A Practical Approach to Understanding and Managing a Difficult Urologic Enigma https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1553215/
  4. Post-vasectomy pain syndrome: diagnosis, management and treatment options https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503923/