Most men are nervous enough about getting a vasectomy. And for three decades, conflicting studies haven’t made them feel any better.
Some researchers warned that the birth control procedure increases chances of prostate cancer.1
Scientists at the famed Mayo Clinic recently set out to settle the controversy. They just completed a large review of the past 30 years of vasectomy studies to determine if cancer fears are justified.
The researchers analyzed 53 studies that examined the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer. They included more than 2.5 million men.
Their work found a 0.6% absolute increase in lifetime risk. This is a miniscule increase that the researchers say is “clinically insignificant.”
The study also found “no association between vasectomy and risk of high-grade, advanced, or fatal prostate cancer.”
Dr. Bimal Bhindi is an urologist at the Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. He said prostate cancer should not be a factor when a man decides whether to a get a vasectomy. “It shouldn’t stop you from gaining something that is otherwise very effective for family planning purposes,” he said.2
The study recently was published in JAMA Internal Medicine online.
The results confirm those from an American Cancer Society study last year. It found no correlation between vasectomy and prostate cancer.3
Don’t Be Scared to Snip
Each year, about 500,000 men in the U.S. get a vasectomy. It is a minor surgical procedure that takes less than 30 minutes. It is a virtually 100% effective form of birth control.4
Complications are rare and usually minor and temporary. They include:5
- Bleeding or a blood clot (hematoma) inside the scrotum
- Bruising of the scrotum
- Infection of the surgery site
Other Unfounded Vasectomy Fears
Besides prostate cancer, some men worry that a vasectomy will cause other health problems. These fears are largely unfounded. For example, a vasectomy won’t:6
- Affect your sexual performance. Your sex drive and testosterone levels remain the same.
- Increase your risk of heart disease. As with prostate cancer, research shows there’s no link.
- Cause premature aging of sexual organs. There is no evidence that vasectomy has any effect on sexual organs other than causing sterility.
Editor’s Note: There are other natural ways to fight prostate cancer.
There’s a Middle Eastern seed that kills aggressive cancer at its source. A vitamin that fights tumors and improves memory at the same time. And a mushroom that teams up with your natural tumor-fighting response to halt cancer growth.