Does Inguinal Hernia Surgery affect male fertility
Many types of hernia affect both men and women. Does hernia cause infertility in men and women? There are few websites and literature that answer, can hernia causes infertility. Since a hernia here occurs closer to the testicles, there is a perception that an inguinal hernia surgery affects 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 surgery cause male infertility? Or simply put Does Hernia Surgery affect fertility? While this is one question that lingers in people’s mind, there is another basic question too. It is, “Does the very presence of an inguinal hernia affect male infertility and impact men’s ability to fertilize and produce a baby?”Then the next question is “Can a hernia affect female fertility?” And what about other abdominal hernia types? Let us explore.
A brief on Inguinal Type
An inguinal Hernia accounts for over 75% of all its types. It is common among the males than the females. The incidence is more than 90% in men than in women. Dr Maran talks elaborately about the Inguinal type in the below video.
Can Hernia cause Sexual Dysfunction in men?
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. It also does not compress the blood vessel that controls erection. So the answer to the question “Can Inguinal Hernia cause Erectile Dysfunction” is actually NO. Plainly speaking, hernia does not cause erectile dysfunction.
If an inguinal hernia is unattended for years, then the scrotum bulges steadily. It later becomes bigger and the penis buries itself inside. So if a groin hernia is huge the male sexual organ or the penis buries inside a hernia because of the sheer size. This interferes with the sexual function and penile erection. A moderately bigger hernia can interfere with sexual intercourse. Sex becomes painful under such aggravated conditions. Under such extremities, penile erection and subsequent sustenance of erection can have negative implications. 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. Also an untreated one can cause erectile dysfunction in men only because of the disruption it causes.
So 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?
Can a Hernia affect male Fertility?
Generally speaking, 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? In a normal course, if the condition has just been diagnosed hernia does not cause any male infertility. 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.
Can Hernia cause low sperm count?
An inguinal hernia present for long years unattended has a high probability to alter the temperature of the testicles. If abdominal materials are present inside the scrotum because of a hernia, it causes the abdominal temperature to trickle down the testicles. The testicles of the body maintain a slightly lower temperature than the body temperature. This lower temperature is responsible for healthy sperms.
A variation in temperature can certainly interfere in the process of sperm production (spermatogenesis) and can potentially destroy the sperms. However, if an inguinal hernia has just happened and is just detected, then the probability of sperm production getting affected is less. There is no inguinal hernia effect on the testicles besides long term effects due to ignorance. Prompt consultation with a surgeon and subsequent surgery should effectively address this issue. So in conclusion, a strong NO can be given to the question “Does Hernia affect male fertility”.
Can a Hernia affect Female fertility?
An inguinal hernia holding reproductive organs like Fallopian tubes and ovary is a rare medical event. If it happens then the impact on women’s fertility will be more on the negative side. This condition is extremely rare. Hence women who are trying to conceive but have a hernia need not worry about this.
If you are a woman and your diagnosis reveals an inguinal hernia, you should meet your hernia surgeon. After consultation with a surgeon, you can plan your baby. The surgeon usually recommends you to undergo hernia surgery before pregnancy. This is because the complications arising out of the presence of a hernia when pregnant is on the higher side. A hernia can become bigger and probably strangulate as the baby grows. Many women have a question lingering in their minds if they could get pregnant after a Hernia surgery. It is prudent to undergo your hernia repair surgery, heal it completely and then plan for your baby.
Can Hernia Surgery cause Infertility?
Can Hernia Surgery cause Male Infertility?
An inguinal hernia surgery does not affect the erectile functions. The 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 nowadays are very advanced and 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. The surgeon does the entire hernia surgery through this small hole in the abdomen. So there is virtually no chance the surgeon touches the blood vessels and nerves that are passing in and out of the scrotum and are responsible for the erection of the penis. So the surgery never will interfere with the erection of the penis. They are pretty safe and they do not cause any infertility in men. As a matter of fact, it saves men from infertility (due to neglected hernia).
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. Keep in mind that infertility is always due to many reasons. 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 the surgery if the diagnosis says so and the surgeon recommends it.
Do other Abdominal Hernia cause Infertility in men and women?
Femoral Hernia and Umbilical Hernia are other two types of a hernia that happen in the abdomen. They do not impact the reproductive area and hence do not pose any threat to fertility in men. If the Incisional Hernia is from incisions made elsewhere in the abdomen which does not concern the area near the testicles, they are also pretty safe. However, if an incisional hernia has happened due to previous inguinal hernia surgery, people should exercise caution. They should anyways treat as soon as possible. Because the probability discussed for an inguinal hernia applies here too and if left untreated, those type of a hernia cause infertility. So hernia requires immediate medical treatment.
The opinion of Dr. Maran, one of the best Hernia Surgeon in India
Dr. Maran, with his many years of experience performing many hernia surgeries, has not come across a single case of Inguinal Hernia Surgery causing male infertility. However, after the 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. This is quite normal and it has no impact on fertility of sexual function.