Varicocele Q & A
What is a varicocele?
A varicocele is a vascular condition that causes one or more of the veins in a man’s scrotum to swell and expand. Varicoceles can occur anywhere in the scrotum, but they’re most common on the left side.
As a varicocele grows larger, it can affect sperm production and quality. In some cases, the condition also prevents the testicles from developing normally, causing them to shrink in size. If you’ve noticed an enlarged vein, it’s important to seek medical help promptly. Early intervention can prevent the need for surgery and preserve your fertility.
What are the symptoms of a varicocele?
Varicoceles affect every man differently. Early on, they don’t always present symptoms, but as swelling increases, you might experience:
- Sharp pain
- Dull throbbing
- Feelings of general discomfort
- Impaired fertility
- Relief when you lie down on your back
Pain caused by varicoceles usually gets worse throughout the day. It may also increase if you stand for long periods or participate in physical activity.
What causes a varicocele to form?
Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes varicoceles. However, faulty vein valves inside of your spermatic cord––the tube that carries blood to and from your testicles––may play a role.
If your vein valves fail, blood can’t flow properly, causing a backup. Over time, this leads to a backup of blood that may damage one or both testicles and, in turn, your fertility.
How are varicoceles diagnosed?
At Comprehensive Urology, the team uses state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to diagnose varicoceles. Depending on your symptoms and health history, they might recommend high-resolution ultrasonography or in-house hormonal testing.
High-resolution ultrasonography uses sound waves to take detailed pictures of the inside of your body. It’s safe and entirely noninvasive. In-house hormonal testing involves your Comprehensive Urology provider drawing a sample of blood and running it through several laboratory tests.
How are varicoceles treated?
The team at Comprehensive Urology offers several different microsurgical treatments to address varicoceles. These techniques are minimally invasive and provide the best outcomes, fast recovery, and excellent cosmetic results.
To learn more about treatment for varicoceles, make an appointment at Comprehensive Urology. Call the office or book a consultation online today.