The incidence of chronic testicular pain following vasectomy has not been previously assessed. We have carried out a survey by postal questionnaire and telephone interview of 172 patients 4 years after vasectomy to assess the incidence of chronic testicular pain. Significant early post-operative complications occurred in 6 patients (3.5%): 2 infection, 3 haematoma and 1 orchitis. Chronic testicular discomfort was present in 56 patients (33%), considered by 26 (15%) to be troublesome but not by the other 30 (17%). Testicular discomfort related to sexual intercourse occurred in 9 cases (5%). Of the 9 patients who had sought further medical help only 2 had had further surgery (1 an epididymectomy and 1 excision of a hydrocele). Only 3 patients regretted having had the vasectomy because of chronic pain. On ultrasound examination, epididymal cysts were a common finding on both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients following vasectomy. Prior to vasectomy, all patients should be counselled with regard to the risk of chronic testicular pain.