- Varicocele – enlarged veins within the scrotum.
- It is not like varicose veins that appear in the legs.
- It occurs in about one in six males more common in younger males, ages 15-25.
- It is usually harmless not associated always with infertility problems by contributing to low sperm production and decreased sperm quality.
- Approximately 15% of men have a varicocele, among men evaluated for infertility.
- The defective valves present in the veins of scrotum just above the testicles.
- Normally these valves regulate the blood flow to and from the testicles.
- When normal flow does not occur, the blood backs up, causing the veins to enlarge.
- Varicocele most commonly occur during puberty, when testicles experiencing rapid growth and need more blood.
- In about 80% of cases, it occurs in the left testicle area.
- varicocele cause poor circulation results in a higher blood temperature that raising testes temperature, which act as a serve barrier to sperm production and destroy sperm that is created.
- A varicocele often causes no symptoms. Some people may notice:
- Dull testicular pain or scrotal aching, which gets better when people lie down.
- Symptoms get worse after certain activities, such as bike riding.
- Swollen testicle or scrotum.
- Size changes.
- Male infertility.
- Small lump above the affected testicle.
HOW CAN I TREAT A VARICOCELE AT HOME
Home treatment options for varicoceles include:
No treatment – If a varicocele does not interfere in daily life routine or does not cause fertility problems so people may not need for treatment.
Routine changes – avoid certain activities that trigger discomfort. Wear tight fitting underwear or jockstrap can remove the symptoms due to exercise.
Ice – Applying cold packs to the scrotum may help people feel better. To protect skin, don’t apply ice directly to skin. Wrap ice packs in a towel and use it for about 10-15 minutes at a time.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH VARICOCELE
- Varicoceles can cause three main problems:
- Impaired fertility,
- decreased testosterone production by the testis,
- Scrotal discomfort.
- Varicocele can cause azoospermia in some cases which cause lack of sperm in the ejaculate.
- varicoceles are so common and they usually not undetected throughout life, likely around 80% of men with varicoceles are able to conceive with their partners without any medical intervention.
- Most men with this problem do not experience hormonal issues or discomfort.
HOW DOES VARICOCELE AFFECT THE TESTIS
There is one way by carrying warm blood from the abdomen down towards the testis in the scrotum.
The testis functions optimally around three degrees below body temperature, thus this warmer blood affect testes ability to make sperm and testosterone production.
A varicocele might cause:
- Shrinkage of the affected testicle – the testicle include sperm-producing tubules.
When these tubules damaged from varicocele, the testicle shrinks and softens.
The exact cause of testicle shrinkage is not known, but the valves allow blood to pool in the veins, which can increased vein pressure and exposure toxins in the blood that cause testicular damage.
- Infertility – local temperature around the testicle during varicocele is too high that affecting sperm formation, production, movement and function.