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Varicocele

Varicocele refers to the abnormally enlarges veins in the scrotum. Varicoceles are a common reason behind abnormal semen analysis, low sperm count, reduced sperm motility, and abnormal sperm structure, which results in infertility.

What are the symptoms of varicocele?

Varicocele rarely produces any symptoms. It goes unnoticed most of the time until noticed during a self-exam or routine physical exam by the doctor. Rarely, varicocele might cause pain, and the pain may:

  • Range from sharp to dull uneasiness
  • Deteriorate over a day
  • Increase with standing or heavy work, particularly over an extended duration
  • Be relieved while lying in the back position
  • Hamper fertility

Gradually, varicoceles may widen and become more visible. The condition may result in a swollen testicle, mainly on the left side.

What are the causes of varicocele?

Varicocele forms when there is an improper blood flow in the valves inside the spermatic cord's veins. Then blood backs up, resulting in swelling and widening of the veins.
Varicoceles often develop during puberty. Generally, it arises on the left side due to the position of the left testicular vein.

Varicocele

What is the effect of varicoceles on sperm?

Varicoceles might raise the temperature around the testicle, which affects sperm formation, movement, and function.
 Also, inadequate blood supply results in the testis due to the accumulation of blood. This affects the production of sperms in the testis. And this gives rise to a low sperm count, low sperm motility, and atypical sperm morphology.

What is the treatment for varicocele?

Varicocele is treated when males are experiencing fertility problems, pain, or discomfort. Varicocelectomy is a surgical process to correct a varicocele. In this process, the swollen veins are tied off. Then the collected blood is forwarded to the healthy veins. As per some research studies, varicocele treatment helps improve the semen parameters and the pregnancy rate in some selected cases. Instead, in a few cases, IVF/ICSI is helpful with sperm, whether taken before or after varicocele treatment.

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