Health Tip: Vasectomy Has Some Risks

About 500,000 men have a vasectomy each year in the United States, preventing sperm from reaching the semen during ejaculation.

While the operation is safe and highly effective in preventing pregnancy, it has its risks, the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development says.

The agency says any general discomfort, bruising and swelling should subside within two weeks.

But it adds that other less common yet more serious problems could include:

  • Hematoma. Bleeding under the skin that can develop into painful swelling.
  • Infection. Warning signs may include fever and scrotal redness.
  • A lump in the scrotum, called a granuloma, formed from sperm that leak into the tissue.
  • Pain in the testicles that doesn't go away, which occurs in about 10 percent of men who have the procedure.
  • Vasectomy failure. For every 1,000 procedures, about 11 will fail over two years.

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