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Will inguinal hernia surgery cause male infertility?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 8557 Questions
My husband is getting ingromial inguinal hernia sugery. I have read some threads that it increase male infertility such as retorgrade ejaculation or lower sperm count. Will this affect fertilty. He is 40 years old and want to have children. Seems to me like older man have this problem, thus there is not studies of men conceiving children naturally after ingronial surgery.
Posted Mon, 27 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer: the risk is low Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Infertility is one of the possible complications of surgical repair of an inguinal hernia. The cause is related to injury to either the vas deferens or the testicle. The vas deferens is a structure that carries sperm from the epididymis to the ejaculatory ducts in preparation for ejaculation. The risk of injury to the vas deferens is approximately 0.3% ( 3 out of 1000 persons who under this procedure would have this problem). Injury to the testicle occurs in 0.5% of persons (5 out of 1000) who have this procedure for the first time and 5% for persons who have to get a recurrent procedure. Repair of this hernia normally involves placement of a mesh to prevent recurrence ( since increased risk of complications if the surgery has to be repeated). There was some concern in the past few years that the mesh itself might increase the chance of infertility but a large study done in Sweden showed that there is no significant increased risk once it is used. Summary- the risk is low 0.3% to 0.5% I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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Follow-up: Will inguinal hernia surgery cause male infertility? 3 hours later
Would you recommend to have a child first and than have the procedure... the inguinal hernia is not very large but cause him constant discomfort. Would you recommend to wait? the size is about half a golfball petruding out. And if one testicle is injured cant the other testicle, provide enough sperm to get pregnant? Would you recommend sperm count analysis before surgery? And would we be informed if any issues happened during surgery or we would have no way of knowing?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 10 minutes later
Brief Answer: if he is uncomfortable, he may want surgery Detailed Answer: HI If the hernia is causing him discomfort, then it may be best to have the surgery. The risk of infertility is low, with on 3 to 5 men out of 1000 experiencing complications. He can consider the sperm count prior to the procedure to find out if there are any issues with his semen prior to the procedure. If any problems arise during surgery, the doctor would inform both of you. The final decision is up to the two of you. Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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