Vasectomy Information Forums My husband only has one testicle – should we opt for vasectomy or tubal?

My husband only has one testicle – should we opt for vasectomy or tubal?

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    My husband and I are contemplating our birth control options and we’ve decided that either I’ll get my tubes tied or he’ll get a vasectomy. My husband was born with one testicle and in talking to our doctor about this, he indicated that he would not feel comfortable recommending my husband get a vasectomy in case there are complications to his only testicle. We are still in the preliminary stages of deciding what we’d like to do but I was curious as to what complications there are for my husband and if in our case, it would be better for me to get my tubes tied. Thank you very much.

    Dr. Edward Karpman

    The risks of a vasectomy are significantly less than the risks associated with tubal ligation. Vasectomy is done with a local anesthetic in the physician’s office and the the patient is able to walk out on his own after the procedure. On the other hand, tubal ligation requires a general anesthetic, intra-abdominal surgery and has a significantly greater recovery time than vasectomy. Each procedure is associated with its own risk profile. A review of some of the other reader’s comments on this website will give you a good understanding of the risks associated with vasectomy. However, it is important to remember that vasectomy is performed over 500,000 times annually in this country, and the vast majority of procedures are uncomplicated. Satisfied patients oftentimes will not take the time to comment on how great they feel after the procedure, but the small minority that have a complication will go to great lengths to seek out support from others or to share their bad experiences.

    I am always concerned that when readers view our questions and responses that they will be terrified by the outcomes after a vasectomy and choose some other form of birth control. Vasectomy is still the safest and most reliable form of permanent birth control for the male. Having a solitary testicle does not place the man at any greater risk if having a vasectomy than in a man with two testicles. The consequences of having a complication in a man with a solitary testicle are greater since loss of the remaining functional testicle will eliminate any endogenous testosterone production and permanently sterilize the man. Testosterone replacement is easy and effective and permanent sterilization should not be of great concern since that is why the vasectomy is desired in the first place. In these situations, vasectomy should be done by a well experienced surgeon who can minimize the risk of any complications.

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