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Dr. John: Vasectomy, mysterious spider bites

9:51 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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Question #1
Dear Dr John, About a month ago I had a vasectomy procedure done. And one of the questions I forgot to ask my urologist was "Does having a vasectomy affect my testosterone levels?" & will I get moody or emotional?

The overall answer is no, a vasectomy does not interfere with testosterone levels. As a matter of fact, some small studies suggest it might even lead to a slight increase in testosterone following the procedure. Vasectomies are a very successful method of birth control, being greater than 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Although reversal of a vasectomy is possible, it is a difficult procedure that isn't always successful. With that in mind it's important that the decision to have a vasectomy is entered into as a permanent change and not one that can be easily reversed later down the road. As for any emotional or moody issues that may arise later on, they are not the result of testosterone levels after the vasectomy.

Question #2
My girlfriend frequently complains about getting spider bites on her legs while we are sleeping, but I sleep in the same bed and never get bitten myself. I was wondering if you can give me any information on this subject. John

Spider bites are rarer than most of us think. If two people are sharing a bed then one might get bit by a single bite or two but if there are multiple insects infecting the area, like bed bugs, then most likely both partners will get bitten over the same time period. Over the last few years there has been an increase in patients reporting what they think are spider bites that turn out to be skin abscesses instead. There has also been an increase in skin abscesses caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, most commonly MRSA. This bacteria, known also as methycillin resistant staphylococcos aureus, has become resistant to common bacteria used to treat most skin infections. This type of abscess usually needs to be drained. A culture is sent to find out what exact bacteria is causing the abscess and what medicine will effectively get rid of it. Then the patient is placed on special antibiotics that are used to treat the drug resistant bacteria. Without treatment these skin infections could get significantly worse.

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