Are There Vasectomy Side Effects?

January 13, 2016

As guys, we spend most of our lives trying to keep sharp objects away from our downstairs business (it’s the whole reason pants were invented) so apprehension about getting a vasectomy is normal. You may have heard horror stories, or maybe your imagination is enough to keep you sticking with less reliable birth control methods, but for most people, a vasectomy is simple procedure without much pain involved. Like all medical procedures, vasectomy side effects are possible, but rare.

Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome

In some instances, men do report chronic pain after having a vasectomy. The ailment is know as post-vasectomy pain syndrome. The causes are varied, and the actual incidence is unknown. Different studies have found that as few as four percent and as many as 18 percent of men suffer from post-vasectomy pain syndrome. The lack of a specific cause means that there are different treatment methods with different levels of success.

Tissue Damage

The most obvious cause of post-vasectomy pain syndrome is tissue damage caused during the procedure. The risk of this kind of trauma can be lessened by having your vasectomy performed by an experienced urologist. This type of pain may fade with time as the tissue heals, or may necessitate the removal of scar tissue.

Sperm Granuloma

In some cases, post-vasectomy pain syndrome is the result of swelling. Patients may develop a sperm granuloma – essentially a build up of sperm at the severed end of the vas deferens. The granuloma can be treated with steroid injections or by excision. Patients may also develop a neuroma – a painful swelling of the nerves, this can also be treated with an injection.


Problems with the epididymis (the tube that stores and carries sperm) are another contributor to post-vasectomy pain syndrome. One theory is that the pain emerges from a pressure build up in the epididymis, which can be mitigated by performing a vasectomy that leaves one end of the vas open. If the epididymis was irritated by the procedure, the pain can be treated with medication. If the pain persists, an epididymectomy may be performed.

Vasectomy Side Effects Are Rare

It should be stressed that post-vasectomy pain syndrome is rare and that you can reduce the risk of complications by choosing an experienced doctor to handle your procedure. For most men, the only treatment necessary for vasectomy pain is a few painkillers, a bag of ice and some time on the couch. Dr. Koushik Shaw and his experienced Austin, Texas staff are prepared to answer any questions you may have about vasectomy, and will work with you to make sure your procedure is as easy and pain-free as possible and that your vasectomy recovery is speedy.