Will a Vasectomy Cause 'Blue Balls'?
By: Dr. Gary Bellman on January 12, 2015, 12:12 pm
If you are considering having a vasectomy you are not alone. Every year, about half a million men in the U.S. choose vasectomy as a permanent contraception. Even though vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure, it is recommended to choose a urologist who is performing the procedure on a routine basis.
Dr. Gary C. Bellman is a Board certified urologist, and is a leading expert in vasectomies in California, treating patients in the Los Angeles area.
Many men worry about where the sperm will go once the tubes are cut. The tubes being the vas deferens. The concern is that the testicles will continue to produce sperm and the sperm won’t be able to be released and the testicles will thus well and hurt. While this is a reasonable concern, fortunately it doesn’t occur. The testicles continue to make sperm and with time, absorb the old sperm back into the body.
Vasectomy is not instantaneous as with tubal ligation; after the vasectomy, it takes about 15-20 ejaculations to empty out all of the stored sperm (or 3-4 months for all of the remaining sperm to die). While the first few ejaculations may be uncomfortable, this discomfort rapidly returns to normal over a few weeks. The epididymal congestion or “blue balls” feeling is usually fully resolved by 3 months, but in most cases, it is minimal by 3 weeks
The great majority of the seminal fluid is actually from the prostate and is unaffected by a vasectomy. Men worry that they will have long term discomfort similar to the feeling of being aroused and unable to ejaculate, the condition often referred to as ‘blue balls.’ In the great majority of cases a no needle no scalpel vasectomy is performed with minimal discomfort and no long-term side effects.
Very few men man get chronic pain in the area of the procedure due to something referred to as ‘sperm granuloma’. That is where minimal amounts of sperm leak out and can cause an irritation. Fortunately that is quite rare, less than 5%.
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