For older men in committed relationships, who have likely already had a few kids, a vasectomy seems like a perfect, common-sense solution to the birth control problem. No more messing around with pills or condoms, and it's much cheaper and less invasive than its female equivalent.
What can you expect after having a vasectomy? Here is a (very) short list of common side effects. While not everyone will experience these symptoms, the statistics remain alarming.
Testicular pain following the surgery is to be expected. However, for many men, this pain doesn't disappear after a week or two. This condition is called Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome and can be described as a “dull ache” in one or both testes. Pain generally becomes more intense during intercourse and ejaculation.
A recent study showed that out of 172 men who received vasectomies, 33% experienced PVPS.
Some men who experience no symptoms at all for years after their vasectomies suddenly become stricken with debilitating pain that won't go away.
In case you didn't know, vasectomies work by clamping off the tubes that carry sperm into the semen. Hence the phrase “getting your tubes tied”.
What many men don't realize is that clamping these tubes won't stop sperm production. In fact, sperm production continues along normally as if nothing happened. Only now it has nowhere to go.
So what happens when you tie a knot in a fire hose? Eventually, something's going to burst. Unfortunately, that something is your testes, and it usually happens when your epididymus is under pressure during intercourse or ejaculation.
You're probably wincing at the thought. Try considering the fact that almost all men will have one or more of these “blow-outs” following a vasectomy. It's not a “rare” side effect – it's an inevitability.
When you experience a blow-out, sperm leaks into your bloodstream.
Since sperm is never meant to be found there, your body becomes confused, believing it to be a foreign invader. This causes an auto-immune response. Your body goes into overdrive trying to fight off these “invaders” – as a result, you can expect pain and inflammation.
Inflammation, in turn, leads to the formation of a sperm granuloma, or an accumulated, inflamed “lump” of sperm at the site of the blow-out that may require surgery to remove.
Erectile Dysfunction / Low Sex Drive
A common reported side effect of having a vasectomy is erectile dysfunction and low sex drive. Studies have shown that these side effects have no physical basis and are thus caused by psychological factors, although many men would dispute this. Whatever the case, getting snipped causes many men to feel as though they have lost their manhood.
Men who normally have raging sex drives and no problems at all with sexual function suddenly find themselves unable to perform, or simply uninterested in sex altogether.
Regardless of the exact reason for these side effects, one must ask: what's the point of getting “fixed” if you lose your virility and sexual desire?
As you can see, vasectomy costs a lot more than the few thousand dollars you'll spend on the surgery itself. Sure, you might be one of the lucky ones who glides through without any problems. Or you might become one of the tens of thousands of men battling intense chronic pain and sexual dysfunction.
Ask yourself, is having a vasectomy worth the costs?
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