Inguinal Hernia (Groin Hernia) is more common in male than in a female. Since a hernia here occurs closer to the testicles, a perception that a hernia might affect male fertility is present. 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 cause male infertility? In other words, will an inguinal hernia itself affect the male’s ability to fertilize and produce a baby? Let us see.
Inguinal Hernia and Scrotum
Of all the Hernias, Inguinal Hernia is very common. It accounts for over 75% of all the Hernia. Incidentally, Inguinal Hernia is common among men than women. The incidence of an inguinal hernia is more than 90% in men than in women. Here is a write-up on the different types of a hernia. After a male baby is born, the two testes descend down into the scrotum through the inguinal canal. While they descend they might leave a small breach or opening. An inguinal hernia happens when the intestine pushes into this breach. Dr. Maran is an acclaimed Hernia Surgeon having more than two decades of experience performing hernia surgeries. He talks about an inguinal hernia in the below video.
An Inguinal Hernia and Sexual Dysfunction
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. The Hernia also does not compress the blood vessel that controls erection. A hernia does not cause erectile dysfunction.
However, if a groin hernia is huge the male sexual organ or the penis because of the size of a hernia gets buried. This can interfere with the sexual function and penile erection. A moderately bigger hernia can interfere with the sexual intercourse. So it can be safely concluded that a smaller inguinal hernia may not affect the sexual dysfunction but a moderately larger inguinal hernia can affect a male’s ability to have sex.
Inguinal Hernia 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, yoga and its effect on hernia are said to be precarious. Performing yoga can end you up in aggravating the hernia condition.
Can Inguinal Hernia Cause Infertility?
An inguinal hernia is not known to cause infertility in men. A hernia present is not known to 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? The answer is a simple “No”.
A hernia and infertility in men are not associated at all. 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.
Does Inguinal Hernia Surgery cause Male Infertility?
An inguinal hernia surgery does not affect the erectile functions. An Inguinal Hernia surgery only involves closing the hernia gap by using approved hernia mesh. No blood vessel or nerves are touched in this process. Hence the notion that Inguinal Hernia Surgery can harm sexual dysfunction is untrue.
The laparoscopic surgery techniques have made the hernia surgery easier. Further, in the laparoscopic technique, the keyhole is laid only on the upper part of the lower abdomen for operating on the Inguinal Hernia. So there is virtually no chance that the blood vessels and nerves for the erection of the penis will be touched during the surgery. So hernia surgery never will interfere with the erection of the penis.
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. 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 can be understood that Inguinal Hernia Surgery causing male infertility is absolutely not possible. It is perfectly okay for a man to undergo Inguinal Hernia Surgery should he be diagnosed and be recommended by the surgeon.
Dr. Maran’s Opinion – Dr. Maran, with his many years of experience performing many Inguinal Hernia Surgery in Chennai, has not come across a single case of infertility caused after an Inguinal Hernia Surgery. However, after Inguinal Hernia surgery, the size of the testes on the particular side of a hernia may become little smaller without affecting the erectile function and fertility because of the healing process.
Dr Maran is an experienced Surgeon in the field of Gastro-enterology. He specializes in Advanced laparoscopic Surgery procedures of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tracts. Dr. Maran is also a leading Bariatric Surgeon in Chennai and has a penchant for addressing problems concerning Obesity.