In most cases, varicoceles treatment is not necessary. Most men with varicoceles do not experience fertility issues. However, if the condition is causing pain, testicular atrophy, or infertility, we can help. Treatment involves sealing off the affected vein and redirecting the blood flow into normal veins. In case of infertility issues, varicoceles treatment helps in improving the quality of the sperm and sperm count. The procedure is called varicocele embolization.
The primary goal for varicocele treatment is to help prevent the back flow of blood from the body to the scrotum, helping in cooling off the testes. Surgical procedures will help restrict the blood flow to the veins leading from the testis to the body. However, not all the veins are sealed off. The vassal vein, which is not subject to the same problems as the other varicose veins, is left open to allow blood to leave the testicles after the procedure.
What are the symptoms of a varicocele?
Many times a varicocele is silent and does not cause symptoms. However, some varicoceles cause a dull or aching pain, especially when the person has been in an upright position for a long time. Heavy lifting may also cause pressure build up in the varicocele.
In some individuals, a varicocele may cause decreased fertility or infertility. As many as 40% of men with decreased fertility have a varicocele. A commonly accepted theory is that the varicocele raises the testicular temperature and adversely affects the sperm count and quality. More than half of men with decreased fertility will have improvement in the sperm count and quality after treatment of the varicocele.
In some men, varicoceles can cause shrinking (atrophy) of the testicles. In many cases, when the varicocele is treated on the affected side, the testicle may return to normal size.
How is a varicocele diagnosed?
It is best to catch a varicocele before it can cause major problems, such as infertility. Self-exam of the scrotum is the best way to diagnose a varicocele early. A varicocele can feel like a “bag of worms”, and is usually found in the left testicle. Our specialists can diagnose a varicocele with a physical examination in most cases.
Do I need to be treated?
If the varicocele does not cause any symptoms or infertility, it may not need to be fixed. However, if there is associated pain, decreased fertility, or testicular shrinking, treatment may help. Adolescents with varicoceles should be treated to avoid future infertility.
Some of the clear indications that you need varicoceles repair include pain, progressive testicular atrophy, and abnormal semen analysis results. The common varicoceles treatment options include: