IASH India: Institute of Andrology & Sexual Health India
Varicoceles: Diagnosis, Symptoms & Treatment – IASH

What is Varicocele?

A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins inside the loose pouch of skin that contains the testicles. These veins help transport oxygen-depleted blood from the testicles. A Varicocele occurs when the blood starts pooling in veins rather than Scrotum. These veins are called pampiniform plexus. Similar to varicose veins these veins (twisted, swollen veins, found in the leg.) It develops during adolescence.

The Varicocele is The varicocele causes male infertility, such as low sperm production, and poor development of testicles. The varicocele doesn’t seem to be harmful. Nevertheless, most cases of varicocele are treated by surgeries. Further, Read the article below, to know more about the varicocele, its causes, symptoms, and more.

What are the Symptoms of Varicocele?

Most of the time, varicoceles are painless and don’t need to be treated. They are frequently discovered during a standard physical examination or fertility evaluation.

However, your doctor could advise trusted Source treatment if the varicocele is large, your testicles are too tiny, your sperm count is low, or you and your spouse are having trouble getting pregnant.

Further, some possible symptoms of varicoceles are:

  • Veins in your scrotum that are clearly swollen or twisted and frequently compared to a bag of worms
  • persistent, throbbing discomfort in your scrotum
  • differently sized testicles
  • Swelling in scrotum
  • impaired fertility

What Causes Varicocele?

A varicocele’s precise cause is uncertain. The veins’ internal valves, which are meant to keep blood flowing in the appropriate direction, may be a contributing factor. Additionally, the left testicular vein has a little different course than the right vein, which increases the likelihood of a blood flow issue on the left.

What are the Risk Factors of Varicocele?

There are some risk factors of Varicoceles that may put you at high risk of developing varicocele:

  • Many men face fertility issues due to Varicocele.
  • Tobacco and Smoking
  • Varicocele results, abnormalities in the gene expressing glutathione S-transferase Mu 1

What are the Complications of Varicocele?

If you have varicoceles then it might be difficult for your body to control the temperature of your testicles. However, this can result in Toxin accumulation and oxidative stress. The following complication could be exacerbated by these factors:

Inadequate Testicular Health: A varicocele in a boy going through puberty may prevent the growth of the testicles, the production of hormones, and other aspects of the testicle’s health and function. A varicocele in a man may cause progressive shrinking as a result of tissue loss.

Infertility: Not all varicoceles result in infertility. According to estimates, 10% to 20% of men who are diagnosed have trouble fathering a child. About 40% of men with infertility issues have a varicocele.

When to See Doctor

The majority of the time, varicoceles are painless and don’t need to be treated. In actuality, they are frequently discovered during a standard physical examination or fertility evaluation.

However, if your testicles are too small, your sperm count is poor, the varicocele is huge, or you and your spouse are having trouble getting pregnant. However you must immediately contact your doctor if you see any of the symptoms like, dull, aching, swelling of the scrotum,

shrinkage of the affected testicle, a lump or bulge on the scrotum. 

How is Varicocele Diagnosed?

Your doctor may identify a varicocele in several ways, including the following:

  • Valsalva technique: Smaller varicoceles are frequently diagnosed with this method. You usually have to stand up, take a big breath, hold it, and bear it down while the doctor examines your scrotum to perform the Valsalva technique.
  • Scrotal ultrasonography: A scrotal ultrasonography could be required in several circumstances. This enables your doctor to obtain a thorough, precise picture of the situation and helps quantify the spermatic veins.
  • Physical Exam of the Body: Your doctor will probably check your testicles while standing up and lying down because a varicocele can’t always be felt or seen when you’re lying down.

Further, Your doctor will assign one of three clinical grades to the varicocele after a diagnosis. Grades 1 through 3 is assigned based on the size of the lump in your testicle. The minor grade is one, while the greatest is three.

Because you might not need any, the size does not consistently alter the entire course of treatment. The degree of your discomfort or infertility concerns will determine your treatment options.

Methods of Treatment for Varicoceles

It is not always necessary to treat varicoceles, but the varicoceles must be treated when the causes:

  • Pain
  • Testicular Atrophy
  • Infertility

If you are considering using assisted reproductive technology, you might also want to think about getting therapy.

Some persons who have this illness may experience issues with testicular function. Your chances of increasing sperm production are better the earlier you begin treatment.

You may occasionally find that support from tight underwear or a jockstrap helps to relieve pain or discomfort. Other therapy such as varicocelectomy and varicocele embolization can be required if your symptoms worsen.

Varicocelectomy

In a hospital, a varicocelectomy is a same-day procedure that is carried out. A urologist will use your pelvis or abdomen to clamp or tie off the aberrant veins. After that, blood can pass through the unusual veins and healthy ones. IASH India provides you with the best varicocelectomy surgery.

Varicocele Embolization

The same-day varicocele embolization technique is less invasive. A tiny catheter is placed into a vein in the neck or groin. The varicocele and catheter are both then filled with a coil. This prevents blood from reaching the unusual veins.

Facts to Know About Varicocele

  • Varicocele means dilatation or enlargement of veins of the testis. As a result, blood tends to pool in the testis’ veins, resulting in increased temperature of the testis.
  • It occurs in about one in six males.
  • 15 percent of men have a varicocele.
  • Among men evaluated for infertility, about 40 percent have a varicocele in at least one testicle.
  • In about 85 percent of cases, it occurs in the left testicle area.
  • Usually noticed during a routine physical exam.
  • There are three grades of varicocele:
    • Grade 1: The smallest type, this is not visible, but a physician can feel it if they use a Valsalva maneuver.
    • Grade 2: This is not visible but can be felt without a Valsalva maneuver.
    • Grade 3: The varicocele is visible.
  • Varicocelectomy improves the serum testosterone level in >80% of patients.
  • Following surgery, approximately 70% have improved semen parameters, and 40% to 60% have improved conception rates.
  • This improvement in semen quality will typically become noticeable at approximately 3 to 4 months after surgery and become final at 6 months.
  • Most patients with pain from a varicocele will have a significant improvement in pain or even complete pain relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Happens if Varicoceles is left untreated?

Ans: If the Varicoceles is left untreated It might result in extremely low testosterone, which would have side effects like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and osteoporosis. In addition, most men with varicoceles continue to have an adequate amount of testosterone throughout their lifetimes without receiving any treatment.

Q2. Does Varicoceles get worse with the age?

Ans: According to the study, it is discovered that the incidence of varicocele rises with age, rising by around 10% for every decade of life, reaching a peak of 75% in the eighth decade.

Q3. Is Varicoceles Surgery Painful?

Ans: Yes, after surgery for 3 to 6 weeks, you can experience some minor groin pain. You can have swelling and bruises in your groin and scrotum. In three to four weeks, this will pass. Depending on your profession, you should be able to resume your daily activities or return to work in 2 to 3 days following microscopic surgery.

Q4. How to Prevent Varicoceles?

Ans: A varicocele can’t be prevented. As, they are very typical, though they don’t happen to every guy. This is because, during adolescence, the testicles expand quickly and require more blood flow.

Q5. How varicocele causes infertility?

Ans: A varicocele may result in poor testicular growth, inadequate sperm production, or other issues that could result in infertility. To address these issues, varicocele surgery may be suggested.

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