Workshop report: immunological aspects of vasectomy.
The necessity of determining longterm detrimental effects of vasectomy is mentioned. Studies to accomplish this purpose are difficult because the actual proportion of individuals who will suffer longterm adverse effects from vasectomy is small and hard to locate. The experimental design and other problems have made various such studies difficult to interpret. The type of vasectomy and the kind of laboratory animal used in studies will affect the study results. Consideration of the experimental design should take into account what type of systemic long term effect will be studied. When assessing study results, it is important to know the numbers involved in the study. Longterm effects of vasectomy may not appear for 20 years. In light of this fact, epidemiological studies of vasectomized and appropriate control men should be conducted. Such vasectomy studies may offer help in understanding how autoantigens affect the immunology of reproduction.