A vasectomy is a procedure that is performed on males as a method to prevent the sperms from reaching the ejaculatory fluid or the seminal fluid. It is performed on the vas difference which is the duct carrying the sperms from its production site, the epididymis, in anticipation of an ejaculation. At the time of ejaculation, about 10% of the ejaculatory fluid would be formed by the sperms.
The vasectomy procedure is undertaken as a permanent contraceptive method for men and it involves a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia, most probably in an outpatient setting. A surgeon will expose the vas difference in either side through minor cuts over the scrotal skin and would severe and tie down the ends of each. This will effectively prevent the flow of sperms and therefore the man’s ability to reproduce. Although the surgery itself is not a complicated procedure, there can be several side effects which can nag a person who undergoes a vasectomy.
-Loss of sexual desire
It is said that, certain proportion of males undergoing vasectomy will feel these symptoms, but a physiological explanation for this phenomenon could not be extracted by the researchers. But, it remains a problem in the clinical setting which would most likely to be settled through psychiatric counseling as this seem to explain its occurrence rather than due to any physiological mechanism.
-Development of auto-antibodies
Even though the passage of sperms has been blocked by this procedure, the production of the same would continue and therefore would lead to excess accumulation of sperms in the vas difference as well as in the epididymis. These would have to be degraded and re-absorbed by the body itself with the help of the immune system. In certain people, the immune system may find these remnants of sperms as foreign bodies and develop antibodies against these elements. The result can give rise to many undesired effects including the formation of cancers although the evidence for such a phenomenon does not substantiate it to be a major concern.
-Benign proliferation of ductular epithelium
In certain instances, the ductular epithelium lining the vas difference would proliferate and increase its thickness to accommodate towards the function of re-absorption of excess sperms and the fluids. These proliferations are said to be benign and may increase the pressure within the epidydimis and therefore in the testes which might lead to testicular damage.
If the benign enlargements of vas difference to accommodate excess sperms and fluids rupture as in the case of almost 50% of such incidence, the sperms can leak into the scrotum which would make the body immune mechanisms to confine the leaking sperms to an area which is known as a ‘granuloma’. As such, it would be possible to feel such granulomas in the scrotum or for it to give rise to minor side effects such as pain and tenderness in certain instances.
Although the above side effects can take place in persons undergoing a vasectomy, its occurrence can be named as rare.
But, apart from these, another important side effect that needs mentioning would be the ‘irreversibility’ of the procedure itself as there may be instances which would make the person to change his decision and would want to start reproducing again.