LETTER : After the snip, the side-effects

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The Independent Online
Sir: William Hartston is a cautious chess player, but perhaps not cautious enough when deciding on vasectomy (6 February 1996). I admit he did consider the matter for three years but I hardly think 10 days post-operative is the time for self-congratulation.

In our detailed study of 68 men who had submitted to vasectomy, at a median time of nearly 10 years from surgery, we found that vasectomy (in the patients' perception) adversely affected a minority of patients such that 12 per cent of men had impairment of libido, orgasmic intensity, and erectile function, while only 61 per cent said that matters were completely undisturbed (British Journal of Family Planning 1995).

For the moment I cannot promote this operation to my patients with unmitigated enthusiasm. I hope Mr Hartston's gambit pays off for him.

Yours faithfully,

Alan K Canter

Bridge Road Medical Centre