Urology

Other Vasectomy Issues

Cardiovascular Risks

An animal model in the early 1980s based on a small number of animals suggested that vasectomized monkeys develop a high cardiovascular plaque burden several years after their surgery, and this has led to concerns that anti-sperm antibodies that form after cutting the ends of the vasa promote endothelial injury. However, large population-based studies have shown no correlation between vasectomy history and either atherosclerosis or myocardial infarction.

Cancer Risks

Retrospective and prospective studies have suggested a possible link between vasectomy and the development of prostate cancer. This was evaluated in population-based studies both in the U.S. and abroad; while there is a small elevation of the relative risk of prostate cancer, all of the studies concluded that this is more likely due to introduced biases rather than a causal relationship. For example, men who have vasectomies by urologists are more likely to have follow-up later by urologists and thus have screening for prostate cancer.

A large Danish study looked at the relationship between vasectomy and testicular cancer and concluded that there was neither a causal relationship nor did vasectomy promote the growth of preexisting testicular lesions.

Bone Density and Autoimmune disorders

Antisperm antibodies may develop after the blood-testis barrier is violated by dividing the vasa. However, even with long-term follow-up, no relationship has been found between vasectomy and a wide variety of immune-related conditions, and also no relationship between vasectomy and dementia (which was suggested in a case-controlled study). Additionally, although there may be alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-testis axis, vasectomy does not appear to cause decrease in bone density.

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