Can a hernia affect male fertility? Can inguinal hernia cause infertility? Can inguinal hernia cause low sperm count? Can hernia surgery affect fertility? Can a hernia affect female fertility? These are some of the common questions posed by people suffering from hernia. In this video let us discuss in detail about these very common question which patients with hernia ask us.  Many patients with hernia have a lot of anxiety and fear that the hernia problem might interfere with their fertility and sexual function. Let us discuss in detail about the connection between hernia and fertility in this video.

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Can Hernia Affect Male Fertility?

Even though the hernia occurs in the groin region and it is in very close proximity to the testes, majority of the times we do not encounter any problem with the fertility or sexual functions in most patients with hernia. But there are certain special scenarios where a hernia can be associated with infertility or sub-fertility where it might cause some difficulty in fertility or fathering a child.

Large Hernias Can Cause Infertility

One of the common scenario is a very large hernia, very large neglected inguinal hernia especially on both sides can cause the scrotum and the groin region to swell up and this can cause difficulty in sexual function and thereby there times where the hernia is so large that the penis can get buried into the hernia sac and that can cause difficulty in sexual performance and this can lead to difficulty in fertility.

Congenital Hernia Can Cause Infertility

The second scenario where hernia can be linked with fertility problems is in patients who have congenital hernia. By congenital hernia we mean the natural opening which allows the testes to come out of the abdomen into the scrotum fails to close and thereby a hernia continues to be there right from the birth of the child. In certain patients the testes also fail to descend into the scrotum and they remain inside the hernia sac and this is called undescended testes. In these conditions because the testes have failed to come out of the body into the scrotum, they do not function well and their sperm production is subnormal. And this is one scenario where the patient can have a double problem of hernia with infertility because of poorly functioning testes. This is especially true when the patient has this problem on both sides. Even if one testes is normally present in the scrotum, that is enough for normal fertility. But when both the testes fail to descend down their function can be subnormal and the patient can face infertility.

Hernia Surgery Can Cause Infertility

The third scenario where you can have a problem of fertility in hernia is during a hernia surgery. It is extremely rare that during hernia operation there can be an injury to the vas deferens. This is a white tube which connects the testes to the prostate gland which carries the sperms and during the performance of a hernia operation in a rare event there is an injury to the vas, the tube. It can cause a narrowing of the tube and prevent the sperms from being delivered into the prostate. This is extremely rare because most of the times there is a lot of care taken during a hernia operation to safeguard this vas or the tube. Even when it happens, it happens on both sides for a patient to have fertility issues following a hernia operation. So even though theoretically it remains a risk that hernia surgeries can cause fertility issues in practice it is extremely rare to find this problem.

Hernia Mesh Can Cause Infertility

Another scenario with which patients come to us is –Sir, I heard that you put a mesh during the hernia operation and I have read somewhere that this mesh can actually press on the vas or the white tube which carries the sperms and the mesh can cast the tube in the scar and kink the tube and thereby my fertility will be affected. Is it true? Even though this is known to happen the actual incidents of the mesh actually casting a scar and kinking of the vas deferens is extremely rare. There are only a few case reports. So if you see the overall safety of the mesh in hernia operation the risk of the mesh causing the narrowing of the tube and infertility is extremely small. So this fear is mostly unfounded.

So in summary, hernia is not generally associated with major fertility issues in male patients. In some females, there can be some herniation of the ovaries on both sides which can get twisted and thereby that can cause fertility issues in them. But by and large hernia is not associated with major fertility issues and this fear is mostly unfounded.

Get an effective cure for hernia with low-risk procedures. Reach us via email or call us. Our specialist, Dr. Parthasarathy, is one of the most renowned laparoscopic hernia specialist in Hyderabad, India. He specialises in treating complicated hernias and failed hernias. He is widely experienced in the latest laparoscopic techniques of hernia repair. He has about 15 years of experience and has performed 3000+ advanced laparoscopic procedures.

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February 2023