Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc

Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer – Beyond the link!

vasectomy treatmentImage from Nucleus Medical Media

What is vasectomy and what is the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer?

Vasectomy (or man sterilization) is a simple surgical procedure which prevents the release of sperms during orgasm.

You can consider vasectomy as safest and most permanent method of controlling birth in men.

Many studies have questioned this relationship. Years ago, experts thought that vasectomy could expose men to high risk for prostate cancer.

However, recent studies exclude this possibility.

It is very important to analyze this link, since one of six men over the age of thirty five in USA is estimated to perform vasectomy.

And on the other hand, prostate cancer is 2nd leading cause of cancer mortality in Americans after cancer of lungs.

Can vasectomy lead to prostate cancer?

In 1993, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases had clarified that there is no convincing link between vasectomy and prostate cancer risk. In fact, if you have a vasectomy, this doesn’t increase your risks of developing prostate cancer.

Why vasectomy cannot cause prostate cancer?

This is because none of procedures for vasectomy could interfere with the prostate gland. Usually during a vasectomy, your doctor will locate your vas deferens by touch.

Vas deferens is a narrow muscular tube that connects the testicles (where the sperms are formed) with the urethra.

Normally, when you ejaculate, the sperms will flow from testicles; pass through vas deferens to reach the urethra which leads them outside your body via the penis.

Therefore, during vasectomy, your doctor will clamp, cut or seal the vas deferens coming out of each of your testicle.

This will prevent the mixture of sperms with the semen ejaculated from your penis, and definitely the female egg will not be fertilized without sperms.

Despite the vasectomy, your testicles will continue to release sperms, but your body will reabsorb all the produced sperms.

You will still be able to ejaculate nearly the same amount of semen, as your doctor blocks the tubes before your prostate and seminal vesicle.

What advantages do I have if I choose to undergo vasectomy? Any disadvantage?

Mostly men are worried about their sexual behavior after the procedure. In the following table you will find the advantages and disadvantages of a vasectomy procedure.

advantages  vasectomy

Vasectomy and prostate cancer – what about the risk of complications?

They are minimal, including:

1. Bleeding or hematoma beneath the skin, which might cause bruising or swelling of your scrotum

2. Blood in the semen

3. Incision site can be infected, rarely; infection might propagate into your scrotum

4. Sperm granuloma which occurs when a small lump is formed due to leaking of sperms from vas deferens in the surrounding tissues, this condition is painless, and it is treated with rest and analgesics. In rare cases, your doctor will have to remove this granuloma surgically.

5. Congestive epididymitis; this condition occurs when the tubes which transfer the sperms from the testicles are inflamed.

6. Occasionally, your vas deferens might re-canalize or grow back together again, and you can be fertile and be a father again.

If you really consider having a vasectomy, you must ask your doctor for more information about vasectomy and prostate cancer.

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