Vasectomy information, relation to prostate cancer
January 2 2017

Vasectomy is a minor operation that is usually done at a doctor’s office or at a clinic. During the vasectomy surgery, the two tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the urinary tract are altered so sperm cannot pass through and be released to fertilize a woman’s egg during sexual intercourse.

Vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer, what is the evidence
Vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer.
J Urol. 2008; Holt SK, Salinas CA, Stanford JL. Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109-1024, USA.
While the weight of evidence shows no association overall between vasectomy and prostate cancer, there has been some suggestion that an association may exist in subgroups, such as men who have a family history of prostate cancer, men who undergo vasectomy at a younger age or when several decades have passed since the procedure. Studies of risk with long latency periods have been hampered by small sample sizes in subgroups since vasectomy only became widely used in the 1960s and generally prostate cancer has a long latency period. We found no associations between prostate cancer and age at vasectomy, years elapsed since vasectomy or calendar year of vasectomy. Our findings indicate that there is no association between vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer.

Semen samples
Many men who have a vasectomy fail to ever submit a semen sample to make sure the procedure worked. After a vasectomy, men have to submit semen samples to make sure there is no sperm, or at least no viable sperm. Most urologists want two consecutive sperm-free samples, which means asking patients to return at least twice after their vasectomy. However, many men fail to do so. Sometimes one-quarter of the patients they followed never returned to submit a semen sample. And half didn’t get a second sperm analysis, as their surgeon had advised. On the other hand, the majority of men in both groups failed to have a second confirmatory test. The problem may rest not with the patients, but with the post-vasectomy process. Asking men to submit two sperm-free sample may be overly demanding. BJU International, May 2007.

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