Go to content

The effect of vasectomy reversal on prostate cancer risk: international meta-analysis of 684,660 men with vasectomies


Purpose — Evidence of the effect of vasectomy on prostate cancer is conflicting with the issue of detection bias a key criticism. We examined the effect of vasectomy reversal on prostate cancer risk in a cohort of vasectomized men. Evidence of a protective effect would be consistent with a harmful effect of vasectomy on prostate cancer risk while nullifying the issue of detection bias.

Materials and Methods — Data were sourced from a total of 5 population level linked health databases in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to compare the risk of prostate cancer in 9,754 men with vasectomy reversal to the risk in 684,660 with vasectomy but no reversal. Data from each jurisdiction were combined in a meta-analysis.

Results — The combined analysis showed no protective effect of vasectomy reversal on the incidence of prostate cancer compared to that in men with vasectomy alone (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.70–1.21).

Conclusion — These results align with those of previous studies showing no evidence of a link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.



Randall S, Boyd J, Fuller E, Brooks C, Morris C, Earle CC, Ferrante A, Moorin R, Semmens J, Holman CDJ. J Urol. 2018; 200(1):121-5. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Contributing ICES Scientists