Why Do Testicles Become Small After Vasectomy?
It is often said that the penis or testicles shrink after the procedure of vasectomy. Not only this, the patient may experience some other complications as well. Vasectomy is not ideally the best option for preventing pregnancy; there are numerous other techniques and methods that can be considered instead of shutting down the system that nature itself has gifted to men.
Permanent contraception is usually presented as the safest option but underneath all that medical sugar coating, the procedure has been associated with shrunken testicles. It causes pain and a significant decline in the testosterone levels, which is primarily the culprit behind small sized testicles. To top it all, it also results in the anti-sperm antibodies formation. Therefore vasectomy is not an easy pill to swallow; there are definitely some painful consequences that can also put your sexual health at major risk.
Complications Associated With Vasectomy
A study published in African Health Sciences back in 2013 suggested that even when vasectomy remains a popular technique of preventing undesired pregnancy; it can bring about detrimental consequences that can affect the male sexual life, in the long-term.
Reduced production of testosterone is the major downside of vasectomy, to begin with. A long term study conducted on rats revealed that after disabling one testicle by vasectomy, the production of sperm reduced in both the testicles of rats.
This shows that the procedure is responsible for low testosterone levels which can eventually lead to:
- Poor sexual drive
- Shrunken testicles
- Development of feminine traits such as growth of breast tissue; a condition referred to as gynecomastia
These side effects don’t appear overnight. So in the beginning, vasectomy seems like the legit way out but over years, it becomes more of a nightmare. Based on this, the complications associated with vasectomy can be categorized as short-term and long-term. Short- term complications include:
- Damage to the nerves
- Uncontrolled temperature of testes
The pain caused by vasectomy is usually very severe. There’s a condition called post-vasectomy pain syndrome in which the patient suffers from poor sex drive and less frequent intercourse as it is very painful. Sexual inactivity results in reduced production of semen eventually causing testicular atrophy.
Given below are the post-vasectomy complications:
- Continuous pain in the genital area
- Pain in the groin area after a workout
- Painful erection
- Painful sex
- Painful or discomforting ejaculation
- Disabled erectile function
Studies have proved that the pain is directly linked with vasectomy; if the procedure is reversed the pain goes away. A study published in Journal of Urology was based of 13 men who underwent vasectomy reversal in order to reverse the pain. It revealed that 9 out of 13 men got completely rid of the pain.
Another study conducted on 32 men and published in the same journal, showed similar results regarding vasectomy reversal.
Formation Of Anti-Sperm Antibodies
Since vasectomy is carried out by cutting off the sperm supply to the penis permanently, therefore it is no surprise that the body generates an inflammatory autoimmune response. As the procedure only focuses on preventing sperm ejaculation and not the sperm production, so the already produced sperms continue to store up in vas deferens as they have no way out and the immune system takes charge to get rid of these sperms. Immune system begins recognizing sperm as a foreign body and form anti-sperm antibodies to attack the invader. This can be very painful and may cause inflammation. The autoimmune response subsequently leads to drastic testicular damage.
A study published in Reproduction, Fertility and Development suggested that production of anti-sperm antibodies is as harmful as any other pathological complication in the male reproductive system.
Small testicles are nothing compared to the bigger picture here. Vasectomy should be the least considered option for permanent birth control as it is capable of causing massive damage to the male sexual health. Shrunken testicles are only the beginning, reduced testosterone levels, severely diminished libido, painful sex and autoimmune reactions are waiting just round the corner to crash the party. When all these complications kick in, things get even worse as it all leads to:
- Elevated pressure in testicles
- Chronic inflammation
- Cyst formation in scrotum and epididymis
- Ruptured skin during ejaculation
Testicular and prostate cancers have been associated with vasectomy as well. It is said that vasectomy can also be the culprit behind enlargement of lymph node and dysfunctional adrenal gland.
Considering the possible worst scenario, it is better to opt for other birth control techniques. Vasectomy is like a shiny red apple, a bite of which can torment male sexual life in many undesirable ways. If you are experiencing shrunken testicles after vasectomy, you should consider other viable options such as Testicular Implants to regain your confidence and sexual vigor.
- Matlabi, H., & Hamidzadeh Arbabi, Y. (2014). SATISFACTION, REGRET AND COMPLICATION RATES AMONG IRANIAN VASECTOMISED MEN.
- Marconi, M., & Weidner, W. (2017). Site and risk factors of antisperm antibodies production in the male population. In Immune Infertility (pp. 133-147). Springer International Publishing.
- Cui, D., Han, G., Shang, Y., Liu, C., Xia, L., Li, L., & Yi, S. (2015). Antisperm antibodies in infertile men and their effect on semen parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinica Chimica Acta, 444, 29-36.