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Does a Vasectomy Hurt? How You’ll Feel During and After the Surgery

Does a vasectomy hurt? For the procedure itself, the short answer is not really.

Does a vasectomy hurt? Pensive man researching vasectomies with a worried expression

A vasectomy is likely the most effective form of male birth control available. It’s a procedure that’s generally considered safe and simple, but, because of the sensitive nature of how the procedure takes place, many men avoid it entirely, certain that it will be horrible.

If the physician performing the procedure is trained and experienced, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The procedure itself should have little to no pain, especially as your doctor may give you some pain medication beforehand and will likely apply local anesthetic during the procedure.

You will be awake for the procedure, and, as far as pain is concerned, this is a good thing. Here’s why — if the procedure was severely painful, you would be put under general anesthesia. The fact that this isn’t done indicates how little pain you should feel.

The reality is this: Vasectomies are safe, effective, and low-risk, especially compared to other types of surgeries.

That being said, vasectomies do have some risk, and chronic pain is part of that risk. Though there are other side effects, which you can read about here, chronic pain after surgery is one of the more common side effects.

Let’s talk a little bit more about pain associated with the procedure.

The Pain Factor — Does a Vasectomy Hurt? The Procedure Shouldn’t Hurt, but You may Experience Chronic Pain Afterwards

One of the main questions I get asked about vasectomies is this: Does a vasectomy hurt? Am I going to have pain during or after the procedure?

As far as the procedure itself is concerned, you may feel a slight “twinge” or “tugging” feeling, but beyond this, you shouldn’t feel much.

And afterwards? There are a variety of complications that can lead to chronic pain (also known as orchialgia), including:

  • Congestive epididymitis
  • Development of sperm granuloma
  • Infection
  • Inflammation

While a vasectomy can certainly have side effects, chronic pain following the procedure, though possible, is rare.

How rare? The study cited above found that about 4% of men had chronic pain a year after surgery.

A study about 10 years later found a higher number: 18-20%.

Yet another study puts the number between 2.2% and 15%, with the low end reporting that the pain “affected their quality of life.”

Even at the high end, this number is still fairly low. Like any procedure, there are going to be risks, and these risks need to be weighed against the potential benefits.

So, Does a Vasectomy Hurt?

It can, but for most men, the pain is slight and temporary. For those who develop chronic pain, there are methods of reducing or eliminating the pain, including vasectomy reversal and nerve entrapment.

To learn more about some of the possible side effects of vasectomy (and how these other side effects can be more serious than chronic pain), click the button below.

Learn More



(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

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