I post reviews of public statements about vasectomy over at www.reddit.com/r/postvasectomy
Today I saw an update to the Cleveland Clinic article that got my attention, and I wanted to quote sections of it here:
What are the risks of a vasectomy?
Complications such as inflammation (swelling), bleeding, or infection may occur, but they are relatively uncommon and not serious. Minor risks include:
- Pain: Any procedure can affect nerves and, rarely, there can be residual pain. The testicles are sensitive organs, so pain can occur in men whether they have had vasectomy or not. It is not clear whether vasectomy increases this risk of testicular pain. A very small percentage of men (approximately 1 in 1,000,000) might develop post-vasectomy pain syndrome, which means pain that lasts past three months. Some of these men decide to have the vasectomy reversed.
- Sperm granuloma: A hard, sometimes painful lump about the size of a pea may form as a result of sperm leaking from the cut vas deferens. The lump is not dangerous and is almost always absorbed by the body. Scrotal support and mild pain relievers (like Acetaminophen) can help relieve symptoms.
- Congestion (in the scrotum): A sense of pressure caused by sperm in the testes, epididymis (the structure that stores sperm), and lower vas deferens may cause discomfort for 2 to 12 weeks after a vasectomy. Like a granuloma, congestion usually resolves itself over time.
The risks of vasectomy must be weighed against other options, including the chance of another pregnancy if you do not have the vasectomy.
Will I have any unwanted “side effects” after a vasectomy?
This usually means:
- Will I produce less testosterone?
- Will I still want to have sex?
- Will I produce (and ejaculate) less semen?
- Will my semen be different?
- Will my partner be able to tell the difference after a vasectomy?
Basically, the answer to these questions is no! Vasectomy does not affect testosterone production or release. (Testosterone is the male hormone that is responsible for a man’s sex drive, facial hair, deep voice and other masculine traits.)
Vasectomy does not affect sexuality in a negative way. Erections, climaxes, and the amount of ejaculate remain the same. The only difference is that your semen will no longer contain sperm. Often, men who have had the procedure find that sex with their partners is more spontaneous and enjoyable because they no longer have to worry about pregnancy or interrupting things to apply contraception.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/04/2020.
So the real howler that I saw here was this one:
The testicles are sensitive organs, so pain can occur in men whether they have had vasectomy or not. It is not clear whether vasectomy increases this risk of testicular pain. A very small percentage of men (approximately 1 in 1,000,000) might develop post-vasectomy pain syndrome, which means pain that lasts past three months. Some of these men decide to have the vasectomy reversed.
This struck me as an absolutely infuriating betrayal. First of all about 50 million men have gotten a vasectomy and if only 1 in a million get PVPS, that means that there are only 50 men who have ever gotten PVPS.
There are at least a thousand guys who have created accounts on just this website. I have a spreadsheet with about 6,000 links to content online with guys describing long term post vasectomy pain. Just as an amateur, doing this in my spare time as a sick hobby, I have read and coded the stories of more than 700 individual men. I can point to specific stories online of men who had PVPS and sought surgery to remedy it, including:
- 127 who got a reversal
- 20 who got an epididymectomy
- 13 who got denervation
- 13 who got orchiectomy
That’s 173 guys who had PVPS bad enough to go back under the knife again. And I have found others that are not in those number yet.
Here are 45 reversals just in one link
For the Cleveland Clinic to imply that this problem is 1 in a million is such a massive lie. I also notice they want to suggest that men are mis-attributing their ordinary testicular pain to their recent vasectomy, which is not the true cause. “The testicles are sensitive organs, so pain can occur in men whether they have had vasectomy or not. Hell, practically anything can make your testicles hurt. But not surgery obviously.” Well citation needed, guys. I want to see what study they are basing this frankly extremely offensive statement on, because it smells suspiciously as though they pulled it straight out of their ass. I can directly point to enough online users to bring that number down to 1 in 80,000. And what fraction of the men with PVPS do you suppose I have found? What fraction post online? In English? It would be completely reasonable to expect that for every 1 guy who posts about this publicly online, 99 did not. That will bring the number down to 1 in 800. I expect the true number to be more like 1 in 80, which would be consistent with AUA guidelines.
And don’t worry, guys:
Vasectomy does not affect sexuality in a negative way. Erections, climaxes, and the amount of ejaculate remain the same. The only difference is that your semen will no longer contain sperm.
We should all find this to be deeply unacceptable. I don’t know what doctor reviewed this statement for accuracy yesterday, but they are clearly completely unqualified for the job.