WHAT IS A VARICOCELE?
A varicocele is the swelling of the veins in the scrotum. It’s usually painless and actually pretty common, especially in guys between the ages of 15 and 25.
Varicocele is a medical word used to describe the swelling of the veins that occurs in the scrotum (ball sack) of some males. Have you ever noticed swollen blue or purple veins on an older person’s legs? A varicocele is similar, but the vein(s) that are swollen are so small that a lot of guys don’t even notice they have one. Read on to learn about this common condition and how it’s treated.
WHAT CAUSES VARICOCELES?
A part of your body called the spermatic cord provides a connection to your testicles (balls), and has arteries, tubes, veins, and nerves in it. Normally, the veins keep the blood flowing from the body to the heart, and the valves keep the blood flowing in the right direction. However, sometimes the valves don’t work the way they’re supposed to, and the blood flows in the wrong direction. When this happens, the blood gets clogged up in the veins and causes the veins to stretch and get bigger or swell up. These swollen veins inside the spermatic cord are what’s called a varicocele.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE A VARICOCELE?
Because varicoceles are usually painless, many guys don’t even realize that they have one until they go to their health care provider for a regular check-up.
Signs and symptoms of varicoceles include:
- Swollen veins in your scrotum that feel kind of like worms
- A heavy, uncomfortable, or dull aching feeling in the scrotum
- A painless testicular lump
- Feeling as if one testicle is larger or heavier than the other
- Testicles that look different in size
- Pain – some guys may feel pain when standing up which gets better when laying down.
POSSIBLE CAUSE OF INFERTILITY.
Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of infertility in men with a varicocele compared with those who do not have a varicocele. The reason for this is not clear. One theory is that the pooled blood causes a slightly higher temperature in the scrotum than normal. This may reduce the number and quality of sperm made by the testicle (testis), which can reduce fertility. Even if you have a varicocele only on one side, both testicles (testes) can be warmed by the increased amount of blood pooled in the enlarged veins (blood vessels).
IF I THINK I HAVE A VARICOCELE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
HOW CAN MY HCP TELL IF I HAVE A VARICOCELE?
In order to figure out if you have a varicocele, your HCP will take a look at your groin and perform a physical exam. He or she will check the area around your testicles for lumps, swelling, or tenderness. If your HCP can’t tell if you have a varicocele from the physical exam, he/she might order an ultrasound. This is a painless test that measures blood flow and can identify veins that aren’t working correctly.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR A VARICOCELE?
SEE HOW WE REMOVE VARICOCELE WITHOUT KNIFE SURGERY HERE: Click here
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