Vasectomy Side Effects, Risks, & Complications

Vasectomy Side Effects, Risks, & Complications

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

Vasectomy is a permanent kind of male birth control that works by cutting the supply of sperm to the semen. This type of procedure has a low risk of problems and is a very effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

A vasectomy is a safe and highly effective type of birth control option for men who are certain they do not wish to father any children in the future. The procedure works by cutting and sealing the tubes that carry sperm, known as the vas deferens. This prevents the sperm from travelling through the vas deferens tubes and mixing with semen during ejaculation. A vasectomy is considered a low-risk procedure and complications are rare, making it a practical option for men who no longer want to father a child.

No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy

A no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy is a quick and virtually painless alternative to a traditional vasectomy. It involves a state-of-the-art anesthesia technique and very small specialized surgical instruments.

During the procedure, a special device is used to spray anesthetic directly on the skin to completely numb the area. A small surgical instrument is then used to puncture a tiny hole into the scrotum. The skin of the scrotum is stretchy, which allows the puncture wound to be gently spread open to allow the urologist to gain access to the vas deferens. Because there is no actual cut to the skin, there is minimal bleeding or trauma to the skin. The vas deferens is then gently cut and sealed in order to block the flow of sperm. No stitches are required and the small puncture wound on the scrotum closes up and quicky heals itself. The whole procedure is usually carried out in 20 and 30 minutes.

If you are considering a vasectomy, your urologist will discuss which type of procedure is best for you, how you can prepare for it, what you can expect, and make sure that a vasectomy is definitely the right decision for you. 

What Are The Side Effects?

For a majority of men, a vasectomy does not cause any noticeable side effects. Some men, however, may experience minor side effects immediately after the procedure, but these usually only last a few days. These side effects can include:

·      Mild pain or discomfort

·      Bruising and/or swelling of the scrotum

·      Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) in the scrotum

·      Blood in the semen

These side effects are less common with the no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy technique.

Risks & Complications

Not everybody is a good candidate for a vasectomy. If you have a testicular disease or chronic testicular pain, a vasectomy is usually not recommended.

Although a vasectomy is considered a very safe procedure, like with any type of surgery, there can be risks involved. Complications following a vasectomy can include:

·      Infection of the surgical site

·      Fluid build-up in the testicle

·      Small area of inflammation caused by leaking sperm

·      Development of a cyst

·      Spermatic cord nerve damage

·      Pregnancy if surgery fails to work successfully

·      Fluid-filled sac (hydrocele) surrounding a testicle, causing swelling in the scrotum

·      Chronic pain (post-vasectomy pain syndrome)

When To Seek Medical Advice

You should seek advice from your doctor if you are concerned or experience the following symptoms, which may indicate a problem:

·      Severe pain or swelling

·      Signs of infection (fever, redness, worsening pain or swelling, or blood oozing from the surgery site)

·      Continued bleeding from the surgical site

·      Chronic pain


Vasectomy does not provide instant protection against pregnancy. Alternative contraception should be used until your doctor says you are no longer fertile. A simple post-vasectomy semen analysis (PVSA) test is carried out to confirm that sperm count has reached zero following a vasectomy. At least 2 semen tests are recommended to ensure you are sterile before eliminating other birth control methods.

Although a vasectomy is a highly-effective form of birth control, it won’t protect you against sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, other forms of protection should be used if you are at risk of contracting an STI.

No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy Procedure in Gilbert, AZ

If you would like to find out more about a no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy procedure, contact Ironwood Urology. Our experienced urologist, Dr. Desi Avila offers comprehensive urology care including the latest advancement in male sterilization surgery.

Call us today at (480) 961-2323 to find out more about our comprehensive urology services, or you can request an appointment online.