Varicoceles are enlarged veins within the scrotum. Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, underdeveloped testicles or be responsible for their shrinkage which can all result in male infertility. Varicoceles develop over time and will cause a dragging type of pain which is vague to localize. Positioning of the left testis predisposes it to development of varicocele on left side more than on right side.
Pathophysiology behind the problem,
Malfunctioning of the valves veins leads to the pooling of blood in them, causing the veins to enlarge and become tortuous. This accumulation of blood over a period of time leads to the development of a varicocele. Varicoceles, when severe are easy to diagnose as they have a feel like a “bag of worms” on examination.
varicoceles with minor symptoms are usually managed by jockstraps which usually improves the blood flow however, when left untreated and allowed to progress without intervention, it ends up increasing local temperature in or around the testicle, affecting sperm formation, movement (motility), and function and can eventually lead to shrinking of the testicles causing atrophy and infertility.
What men should know, a review.
The doctor will perform a physical examination of the varicocele for evaluating the scrotum. Ultrasound or CT scan may be recommended to measure the size and shape of the testicles, Grade the level of varicoceles and to look for any atrophy. Only surgical options are available for varicocele treatment which are done under local or general anaesthesia. Surgery can be done in open or as a minimally invasive one (laparoscopic) but all of which involves repairing the varicocele.
Percutaneous Embolization for Varicocele: Varicocele embolization is a treatment that uses image guidance such as ultrasound or x-ray and a catheter to place tiny coils and/or liquid agents in a blood vessel to seal it and divert blood flow away from a varicocele. This is a newer minimally invasive procedure which can help in relieve pain, swelling and achieving immediate results. It may also improve sperm quality.
Get checked and get treated at the earliest. If you are looking for professional medical help, look no further. Book an appointment with our doctors at OneHealth hospital to know more and to discuss your treatment options.