Varicocele – Do’s and Don’ts that you should know

Varicocele - Do’s and Don’ts

If you are diagnosed with Varicocele, it means that the veins inside the scrotum are enlarged. Scrotum is a protective sac that holds the testicles. When the veins inside the scrotum are dilated, pain and heaviness is felt in the scrotum.

How are the Scrotal veins damaged?

The exact cause for the condition is still uncertain. What is known is that the condition happens when the one – way valves allowing blood to flow from testicles and scrotum back to heart are damaged. When this happens blood starts pooling around the veins which enlarges them. Due to the blood pooling the temperature in the veins rises. This is believed to negatively affect the sperm count, its motility and quality.

Disease prognosis

Varicocele can happen to anyone, at any age. Doctors agree that many cases are congenital. They also believe that many cases become noticeable during the teenage years. Hence occurrence of varicocele is linked to puberty, when there is more blood flowing to the genitals. The condition can lead to improper testicle growth.

Major problems caused by varicocele are related to these:

1) Infertility

2) Reduction in size of the testis

3) Severe pain and heaviness in testis

Most people would not exhibit any symptoms. Patients do report an aching sensation in the scrotum usually when they perform any physical activity or even stand for a prolonged period. Heavy lifting is known to worsen the symptoms in  several cases and sometimes can also be a reason for the varicocele to form.

Patients might experience an aggravating pain over the course of the day. Further, blood clotting and inflammation can cause severe pain.

Treatment options for Varicocele

Decision to treat Varicocele depends on its size (grade or severity of varicocele), low testosterone levels, fertility problems, disappointing results after a semen analysis or pain and scrotal discomfort.

Severity of the condition is assessed by physical examination and ultrasound of scrotum. Mild symptoms usually disappear with medication and do not cause fertility problems usually.

Surgery might be suggested if the symptoms are more severe. A urologist performs the surgery where the dilated veins are tied up and clipped off which stops the blood from flowing through them. The procedure is usually suggested for those with Varicocele affecting both testicles. Nowadays, advanced non-  surgical option like Varicocele embolization is available, which claims similar success rates as surgery.

Varicocele cannot be prevented since doctors are unsure of what causes them. The toxic blood pooling damages the vein walls and the valves. Once it develops it is a progressive disease which means the disease worsens over time.

Lifestyle changes can prove beneficial and is an effective approach in treating Varicocele. It is essential that the root cause is corrected so that it does not progress further or relapse.

1. Avoid excessive sitting and poor postures

2. Avoid wrong exercises (heavy lifting, running, jumping and biking activities)

3. Maintain proper digestive health

4. Wear correct underwear type with thinner fabric which offers testicular support, and a healthy compression.