Varicocele is a network of tangled blood vessels in the scrotum which prevents the
normal circulation of blood through the veins in the testicles, causing low sperm
count and infertility. It's not sure what causes varicoceles, but it is believed that
abnormal valves within the veins prevent normal blood flow. The resulting backup
causes the veins to dilate.
Varicoceles usually occur in the region of the left testicle, most likely because of the
position of the left testicular vein. Varicocele do not often produce symptoms. If you
feel pain or notice any abnormality, you should see doctor.
Varicoceles are very common. About 20% of all men have them. For males who
are infertile, the figure is higher — about 40 percent. Varicoceles are the most
common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality. However,
not all of these cause infertility or need to be treated.
Researchers has found that embolization, a minimally invasive radiological
procedure can correct the problem, and improve a couple's chances of having a
baby. In embolization, doctor inserts a small catheter into the groin and place that
catheter in the varicocele. Then, the doctor inserts a tiny platinum coil and an agent
to ensure the closure of the gonadic vein. Most patients have a short recovery time
and are able to go home next day More than 95 percent of the time the procedure
corrects the problem.
A study showed, on average, that sperm motility and sperm count had significantly
Other treatments include open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.
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Varicocele, Mayoclinic Online Publication, July 23, 2008
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