Does Inguinal Hernia Surgery affect male fertility
Inguinal Hernia (Groin Hernia) is more common in male than in a female. Since a hernia here occurs closer to the testicles, there is a perception that an inguinal hernia surgery affect male fertility. There are two things to look at. Does the inguinal hernia surgery cause problem in sexual dysfunction? In other words, does the inguinal hernia surgery cause problems in sex? Even if there was no problem in sexual dysfunction does an inguinal hernia cause male infertility? Or simply put Does Hernia Surgery cause infertility? In other words, will an inguinal hernia itself affect the male’s ability to fertilize and produce a baby? Let us see.
Inguinal Hernia and Scrotum
Of all the Hernias, Inguinal Hernia is very common. It accounts for over 75% of all the Hernia. Incidentally, Inguinal Hernia is common among men than women. The incidence of an inguinal hernia is more than 90% in men than in women. Here is a write-up on the different types of a hernia. After a male baby is born, the two testes descend down into the scrotum through the inguinal canal. While they descend they might leave a small breach or opening. An inguinal hernia happens when the intestine pushes into this breach. Dr. Maran is an acclaimed Hernia Surgeon and he has more than two decades of experience performing hernia surgeries. He talks about an inguinal hernia in the below video.
An Inguinal Hernia and Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction can refer to many factors. Here, it may primarily mean the inability of the male penis to sustain an erection. It refers to erectile dysfunction. A hernia per se cannot affect a man’s ability to have an erection. The Hernia also does not compress the blood vessel that controls erection. A hernia does not cause erectile dysfunction.
However, if a groin hernia is huge the male sexual organ or the penis buries inside the hernia because of the sheer size of the hernia. This interferes with the sexual function and penile erection. A moderately bigger hernia can interfere with the sexual intercourse. So it is safe to assume that a smaller inguinal hernia may not affect the sexual dysfunction but a moderately larger inguinal hernia may affect a male’s ability to have sex.
Inguinal Hernia though they do not cause any problems associated with sex, you may want to take some precautions if you have a hernia. The precautions include desisting from lifting heavy weights, no bending, and taking measures to avoid constipation, becoming overweight or obese, etc.
Some people wrongly think that yoga can cure a hernia. As a matter of fact, many say that yoga and its effect on hernia are precarious. Performing yoga can end you up in aggravating the hernia condition.
Can Inguinal Hernia Cause Infertility?
An inguinal hernia does not cause infertility in men. A hernia present does not cramp the testicles and cause any defect to the male sperm-producing organ. They also do not cause any damage to the vas deferens, the ducts that transport the sperms from the testicles to the penis. So does an inguinal hernia cause male infertility? The answer is a simple “No”.
There is no association between hernia and infertility in men at all. However, if a man already has some fertility related issue and incidentally also has a hernia, it should be clearly understood that both are not connected to each other. It is completely a coincidence.
Does Inguinal Hernia Surgery cause Male Infertility?
An inguinal hernia surgery does not affect the erectile functions. An Inguinal Hernia surgery only involves closing the hernia gap by using approved hernia mesh. The hernia surgeon does not touch any blood vessel or nerves in this process. Hence the notion that Inguinal Hernia Surgery can harm sexual dysfunction is untrue.
The laparoscopic surgery techniques have made the hernia surgery easier. Further, in the laparoscopic technique, the surgeon lays the keyhole only on the upper part of the lower abdomen for operating on the Inguinal Hernia. So there is virtually no chance the hernia surgeon touches the blood vessels and nerves responsible for the erection of penis. So hernia surgery never will interfere with the erection of the penis.
Dr. Maran talks about how inguinal hernia surgery does not affect male fertility in the video below.
Inguinal Hernia Surgery Affecting Male Fertility
A perfectly functional sexual organ (testicles) can also have fertility issues. Male fertility depends on the viability of the sperms produced by the testis as well as the sperm count produced by the testis. This means even if someone has a perfect erectile function, and has no evidence case of Inguinal Hernia, they can still suffer from male infertility. There are other reasons for male infertility too like hormonal imbalance, genetic defects, anatomical problems etc. All these reasons have no connections with Inguinal Hernia.
So it is clear that Inguinal Hernia Surgery causing male infertility is absolutely not possible. It is perfectly okay for a man to undergo Inguinal Hernia Surgery if diagnosis says so and the surgeon recommends it.
Opinion of Dr. Maran, the top hernia surgeon in Chennai
Dr. Maran, with his many years of experience performing many Inguinal Hernia Surgery in Chennai, has not come across a single case of Inguinal Hernia Surgery causing male infertility. However, after Inguinal Hernia surgery, the size of the testes on the particular side of a hernia may become a tad smaller without affecting the erectile function and fertility because of the healing process.