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A study to assess the prevalence of chronic testicular pain in post-vasectomy men compared to non-vasectomised men
  1. Caroline Morris, Medical Student1,
  2. K Mishra, MRCOG, DFFP, CMO Family Planning2 and
  3. R J E Kirkman, FRCOG, MFFP, Senior Lecturer in Family Planning and Well Women Services3
  1. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. Central Manchester Primary Care Trust, Manchester, UK
  3. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence Dr K Mishra, Palatine Centre, 63–65 Palatine Road, Manchester M20 3LJ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 161 434 3555. Fax: +44 (0) 161 445 0384. E-mail: rita.arditti{at}centralpct.manchester.n.west.nhs.uk

Abstract

Objective To assess the prevalence of chronic post-vasectomy testicular pain (CPTP) compared to the prevalence of chronic testicular pain in a control population of non-vasectomised men.

Methods A retrospective postal study of 198 men who had a vasectomy more than 3 years previously at the Palatine Centre to determine the incidence of CPTP, of whom 101 (51%) replied (mean age 40.4 years, range 29-54 years, mean time since vasectomy 46.5 months). A control group of 102 men (mean age 40.2 years, range 28-55 years) who had not had a vasectomy were obtained via patients attending the community family planning clinics or associated general practitioner (GP) services in the same geographical area.

Results Occasional non-troublesome discomfort was reported by 37/101 of the post-vasectomy men compared to 21/102 of the control group. Occasional discomfort which was a nuisance was felt by 10/101 of the post-vasectomy group compared with 3/102 of the control group, and 6/101 in the post-vasectomy group reported pain severe enough to seek medical advice compared to only 2/102 controls. None of the post-vasectomy men regretted having had the operation.

Conclusions Only 6% of cases (compared to 2% of controls) experienced pain severe enough to seek medical advice in the 3-4-year post-operative period. However, there was a significant difference in the prevalence of occasional testicular discomfort between post-vasectomy men and controls. Mostly these pains were not regarded as troublesome, however men attending for vasectomy counselling should be informed of the possibility of this morbidity.

  • Accepted May 9, 2002.

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  • Accepted May 9, 2002.

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