Vasectomy: What Are the Risks and Side Effects?

Vasectomy Risks

Vasectomy: What Are the Risks and Side Effects for Your Health?

A vasectomy is a permanent form of male birth control. It cuts or blocks the tubes that typically carry a man’s sperm to the penis. The procedure is usually an outpatient procedure and can take just a few minutes to complete. It’s considered to be very safe and effective; however, just like with any medical procedure there are risks and side effects involved.

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Benefits of a Vasectomy

The first benefit of a vasectomy is obviously for contraception purposes. The great thing about a vasectomy is that it offers a lower risk of pregnancy than other forms of birth control. In addition to a low risk of pregnancy, a vasectomy is also a relatively simple and short procedure. It is much less invasive than other forms of birth control, such as the tubal ligation procedure for women.

Risks and Side Effects of a Vasectomy

The primary risks of a vasectomy are infection and bleeding. If a patient develops an infection, it can usually be cleared up with antibiotics. Bleeding, however, can be a bit more serious, especially if it is excessive. Other risks include:

  • Pain or discomfort: There will likely be some pain or discomfort in the testicles, groin and penis areas after the procedure. This can last up to 2 weeks.
  • Numbness or swelling: Some patients have experienced numbness or swelling in the testicles as a result of the procedure.
  • Failure: Although vasectomies are considered very effective birth control, they are not 100% foolproof and in rare cases, can fail.

Are There Risks to My Health?

The risks of a vasectomy are typically very low, and there is generally no long-term effect on a man’s health. The risk for infection as previously mentioned is one of the biggest risks, as it can lead to complications and require further treatment. If a man does experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to speak with a doctor who can identify any underlying cause and provide the appropriate treatment.


In conclusion, a vasectomy is a safe and effective form of birth control, but it’s important to understand the risks involved with the procedure. It’s also important to weigh the benefits and risks before making a decision. If you do decide to have a vasectomy, be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for the best results.

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