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Varicocele and Male Infertility

Varicocele and Male Infertility

Worried about that pain you have never experienced before? Are you feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable to talk about that pain in your testicle, even to your doctor? It might be a symptom of a condition known as Varicocele — And yes, thankfully there is something you can do about it.

Primarily, Varicocele is an abnormal dilation of varicose veins in the scrotum, which is a pouch of skin around the testicles. The condition can decrease the sperm count, its motility and morphology. If it causes major damage to the DNA of sperm cells the condition can potentially have an adverse effect on fertilization and pregnancy.

What Causes Varicocele ?

Veins contain single-way valves that allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood flow becomes sluggish. More pressure might be needed to keep the blood flowing through the veins towards the heart. If blood flows backwards it then pools around. This blockage further leads to the condition called varicocele, the swelling of scrotal veins.

Varicocele and Male Infertility

Symptoms & Diagnosis

  • Varicocele is usually asymptomatic, but may become more noticeable with time
  • Varicoceles are more typical on the left side of the scrotum (around 80 – 90% cases) 
  • During scrotal physical exam, Varicocele is often seen and felt as “a bag of worms”
  • Varicocele pain can vary between dull and sharp in intensity, and increases when an individual has been standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Patient may report scrotal heaviness
  • Damage of testicles resulting in its shrinkage or atrophy
  • Fertility problems are associated with varicoceles. In infertile couples, the condition underlines the link to poor sperm production and reduced semen quality

Occurrence of Varicocele 

  • Varicocele is very rare in boys under the age of 10 years, but the chances increase after puberty
  • Research suggests that varicocele is identified in 15 % of healthy men
  • Varicocele has been associated with primary infertility in 35-50 % of men and up to 81% of men with secondary infertility which is suggestive of progressive decline in testicular function over time

Hence appropriate treatment for varicoceles is necessary in order to maximize a couple’s fertility potential by improving sperm quality and also avoiding a decline in testicular function at a later stage.

Can Varicocele be prevented?

There are no medications which are proven to be effective in treating or preventing Varicocele. Following tips are suggested to improve and maintain the health of your veins thereby preventing varicoceles.   

Regular moderate exercise, nutrient rich healthy whole food, drinking plenty of water and quitting smoking are proven ways to improve your Vascular health.

Treatment of Varicoceles

Open or laparoscopic surgery, performed by a urologist, is the most common treatment for symptomatic varicoceles. Surgery might be recommended as a better choice if you have Varicocele affecting both testicles. But the procedure comes with potential risks including artery damage, infection, and recurrence of Varicocele.

Varicocele embolization, is a minimally-invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. After the procedure it takes just a few days for complete recovery but a surgical procedure on an average would need several weeks. 

You can call and ask for Interventional Radiology Department in the hospital or visit our Vascular Specialist at Avis to know more about the treatment options available.

Varicocele Treatment In Hyderabad | Chennai

For Appointment Call: 9989527715, 7847045678.