Phone: (713) 798-4001 | Houston, TX

Dec 15, 2015 — by Larry Lipshultz

An older man with a loved oneDr. Larry Lipshultz has built a strong reputation as a urologist and men's health specialist. His Houston practice has assisted many patients throughout the area dealing with various health problems, restoring wellness and helping them start families and lead fulfilling lives.

Our practice offers a number of effective, state-of-the-art male fertility treatments, though the best treatment tends to be determine by cause of the infertility. Let's take a moment right now to address one potential cause of male infertility: hernias and hernia repair surgeries.

About Hernias

A hernia occurs when the internal organs of the abdominal region bulge through the wall of tissue that is intended to protect it and keep in in place. This typically involves the organs of the groin. There are different types of groin hernias:

  • Inguinal Hernia: A hernia that occurs in the inguinal canal (most common)
  • Femoral Hernia: A hernia that occurs in the femoral canal
  • Velpeau Hernia: A hernia that occurs in front of the femoral blood vessels (rare)

When a groin hernia occurs, it often affects part of the bowel given the proximity of the bowel to other organs in the body. In severe cases, the bowel may wind up descending into a patient's scrotum. Common signs and symptoms of hernias include pain when lifting objects or coughing, bulging around the pelvic bone area, and a heavy sensation in the groin area.

About Hernia Repair Operations

A hernia operation is performed in order to address this issue, ensuring that the internal organs return to their proper position and that the canal wall through which the organ protruded is repaired and reinforced.

So Do Hernia Operations Cause Male Infertility?

They can potentially, though many times this depends on the nature of the hernia and the nature of the surgery that patients undergo. In some cases, the vas deferens may be damaged by the hernia itself or by the surgical procedure, affecting the flow sperm during ejaculation. This can make it much more difficult for men to conceive through intercourse, even if they are in otherwise perfect health.

Keep in Mind: Male Infertility Risk Is Low

Even though hernia repair can potentially cause male infertility in some patients, rest assured that the risk of this happening is low, and that modern medical technology and surgical techniques have reduced the possibility of serious risks and complications.

Your surgeon will work carefully to avoid affecting vulnerable organs, focusing on restoring wellness whenever possible.

How Patients Can Reduce Risks and Prevent Serious Complications

The best thing that patients can do when it comes to hernia surgery is to follow all instructions for pre-op and post-op care to the letter. These instructions are provided in order to reduce the chances of complications and ensure that the healing process is free from serious problems.

What to Do If You Experience Male Infertility

If you do happen to experience issues with male infertility following a hernia and subsequent hernia repair, rest assured that there are many options to consider for starting a child of your own. For instance, sperm extraction techniques may be used in order to take viable sperm directly from the testicles for use in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted-reproduction procedures.

We will be more than happy to discuss all matters with you during a visit to the practice.

Contact Dr. Larry Lipshultz

To learn more about addressing issues with male infertility and other matters related to men's health, be sure to contact our urology and male infertility center today. Dr. Larry Lipshultz looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve total wellness.