Monthly Archives: November 2018

In Case You’re Still Worried, Latest Research Shows Vasectomy Reversals Aren’t Related to Prostate Cancer | Minneapolis & St. Paul

The fear of increasing one’s risk of prostate cancer has stopped some men from undergoing a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, thanks to old ’90s research that has since been refuted. We touched upon this topic in an earlier blog post, but new research has surfaced to confirm, once again, that prostate cancer and vasectomy-related procedures are NOT correlated.

Curtin University in Western Australia recently released research in The Journal of Urology that observed 10,000 men worldwide who had undergone vasectomy reversals. The paper, spearheaded by Dr. Sean Randall of Curtin University’s Centre for Data Linkage, examined the theory that “if a vasectomy is considered a cause of prostate cancer, then vasectomy reversal should hypothetically decrease the risk of prostate cancer.”

However, Randall confirmed that his team’s studies failed to find any sort of link between vasectomy reversals and prostate cancer, thereby also concluding that there is “no clinically meaningful relationship between men who had had vasectomies and the rate of prostate cancer.”

The paper studied 684,660 men with vasectomies in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 9,754 men with vasectomy reversals, from 1972 to 2016.

Thanks to Curtin University’s research and similar studies from other institutions, the myth of increased prostate cancer risk following a vasectomy is quickly fading away. For those considering a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, this is an extremely significant development that can help more men accurately weigh their options.

Looking for a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal consultation? Let us know! Call us at (952) 922-2151, or visit our Edina office at 6545 France Avenue South, Suite 290.

 

Managing the Unpleasant Effects of Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome (PVPS) | Minneapolis & St. Paul

One of the biggest risks and potential effects of undergoing a vasectomy procedure is to succumb to post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS), a condition affecting roughly one out of every 1,000 men who opt for the surgery. Unlike acute post-surgical pain that can last two to four weeks, PVPS symptoms can persist for months or even years after completion of the vasectomy.

This long-term pain, as you can imagine, can be truly debilitating and impact one’s quality of life. Defined as “constant or intermittent testicular pain for three months or longer with a severity that interferes with daily activities prompting the patient to seek medical treatment,” PVPS becomes even more frustrating when you consider how little is known about its treatment options. Despite a recent increase in men suffering from PVPS, a widely accepted protocol for evaluation and treatment has yet to be implemented.

However, there are a few ways to go about managing PVPS symptoms based on the severity of the patient’s pain. There are both non-surgical and surgical options, the latter typically being a last resort.
 

Non-Surgical Options

Oral Anti-Inflammatories – Ketorolac or ibuprofen can help with pain and inflammation of the vas deferens and epididymis (sperm duct)

Physical Therapy – Can help ease pelvic pain and discomfort that arises from testicular pain

Spermatic Cord Anesthetic Block (SCAB)– Combines numbing medicine and a steroid anti-inflammatory to work as an anesthesia for scrotal pain
 

Surgical Options

Vasectomy Reversal – Straightforward method to undo the intended effects of the original vasectomy procedure, which should include any related side effects/pain (but this will make the patient fertile again)

Epididymectomy – Removes the epididymis (sperm duct) entirely so that any sperm blockage/inflammation is no longer a factor (but this also permanently prevents any chance of fatherhood or vasectomy reversal)

Microscopic spermatic cord denervation – Newer surgical method that decreases PVPS pain by removing all nerves that run adjacent to the spermatic cord, almost like a surgical version of the SCAB method above (maintains patient’s sterility)
 
If you think you’re suffering from PVPS or experiencing any prolonged post-vasectomy pain, contact your doctor immediately for an evaluation.

 

Is Ouabain the Key to Male Birth Control? | Minneapolis & St. Paul

A safe, oral contraceptive pill for men has yet to be made available, but recent research on ouabain, an ancient African arrow poison, may be the key to developing the ever elusive male birth control.

Led by a small team of scientists from the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development at the University of Minnesota, the search for a non-hormonal male birth control pill ultimately zeroed in on the toxic substance known as ouabain. Found in two types of African plants, ouabain was traditionally used as poison on hunting arrows and is sometimes medically used to treat heart arrhythmias.

In addition to disrupting ion-transporting proteins in cardiac tissue, ouabain is known to affect a transporter subunit found only in sperm cells, an integrin called α4. Because α4 plays a major role in male fertility, research has focused on developing an ouabain-based contraceptive that would specifically bind to the α4 protein and disrupt sperm motility.

This newly created derivative compound, designed to target α4 proteins in sperm cells, has successfully interfered with the cells’ ability to swim and fertilize eggs—without any signs of toxicity when tested on rats. Moreover, the contraceptive effect should, hypothetically, also be reversible since the α4 protein is only found in mature sperm cells.

While there’s still plenty of testing left to do before this pill hits the market, current studies have been extremely promising. The University of Minnesota researchers plan to test the effectiveness of their ouabain-based compound in animal mating trials before moving on to toxicology and safety pharmacology studies. If all goes well, human clinical trials may launch within five years.

A safe, reversible male birth control pill is clearly within reach!

 

This One Nutrient May Help Improve Male Fertility | Minneapolis & St. Paul

If you’re looking for a natural, inexpensive way of boosting sperm quality and overall fertility, the answer may lie within…tomatoes?

Recent studies have shown that lycopene, a natural, plant-derived carotenoid pigment that provides the red color of tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits, contains powerful antioxidants that protect the body’s cells—including sperm. Lycopene acts to prevent free radicals from attaching to and harming our cells, which in turn can help increase sperm count and improve the body’s overall immune system. On the flip side, men who consume low amounts of lycopene tend to have lower overall sperm quality.

According to Life Extension magazine, one study showed that after being given two milligrams of lycopene twice daily, male subjects with impaired fertility showed improved sperm concentration, improved motility and improved numbers of normal sperm forms. Furthermore, 23 percent of the subjects achieved fatherhood.

Found mostly in sun-ripened tomatoes, lycopene can be consumed through processed tomato products (contains the highest amount of lycopene), pink grapefruits, watermelons, apricots, guavas, papayas and rose hips. Canned tomatoes used to make pasta or pizza sauce, as well as ketchup, may be your best bet in consuming a larger amount of lycopene in one sitting. In terms of manufactured options, lycopene is mostly available in capsule and softgel form, with dosage guidelines from manufacturers ranging from 10-30 mg twice daily. Multivitamin and multimineral products are also available.

 

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