Varicocele - Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
What is a varicocele?
Scrotum is the sack that holds the testicles. Connecting to those testicles are several tubes including nerves, arteries, veins, spermatic cords etc. Varicocele is the enlargement of a veins connected to the testicle. These veins are called Pampiniform Plexus. Varicocele is similar to the varicose veins that occur in the legs but varicocele occurs in the scrotum. In a person suffering from varicocele, he may experience decreased sperm production and quality and that may even lead to infertility. Varicocele can even shrink the testicles.
Varicocele occurs in 20% of adolescent men and 15% of adult men. Yes, this is not very uncommon and can mostly occur in men aged between 15 and 25 years. Typically varicocele forms during puberty and is seen in the left side of the scrotum. Reason being, the anatomy of right and left testicles is different. Varicocele in two testicles is rare but seen in some patients.
What causes a varicocele?
Cutting the chase, what causes varicocele is not clear. But here is how a varicocele forms. Veins carry blood from heart to the testicles. When it becomes difficult for the blood to travel through the veins in scrotum to the testicles, it pools in the veins resulting in enlargement. This doesn’t happen in a day or two but happens over a period of time. Medical experts are not sure what causes this condition.
What are the symptoms of varicocele?
Initially, you may not have any symptoms but you may experience/figure the following:
- A lump in one of the testicles, typically the left side one.
- Scrotal Swelling
- Enlarged or twisted veins that can be seen. They look like worms on the skin of the scrotum.
- Mild, recurring pain in the scrotum.
What if you don’t recognize varicocele and leave it untreated?
If the varicocele is not recognized and left untreated, it can make a man infertile. Varicocele is the cause of primary infertility in 40% of men and in up to 80% of men in secondary infertility cases.
Primary infertility is described as a case where a couple couldn’t conceive even once. Secondary infertility is a case when the couple were able to give birth to a child once but failing to beget the second.
Varicocele that is not treated also results in shrunken testicle (atrophy). As the blood gets stuck in the veins, the sperm producing tubes gets damaged and the testicle shrinks in size. What exactly causes the shrinking of testicles is not fully understood.
Diagnosis of varicocele
Your sexologist or sex therapist will start with a physical examination. If the varicocele is large enough, your doctor may feel it or see it on the scrotum. If the varicocele is not large enough, you will be asked to stand, take a deep breath and hold it while you bear down. This also helps your doctor to detect the enlargement of veins in the testicles.
An ultrasound may be the next option for your doctor to detect or to confirm the condition. Other tests may also be recommended by your doctor to detect other cancerous tumors that might be causing the scrotal swelling.
Treatment of Varicocele
In some cases, treatment may not be necessary. However, if you are having symptoms of varicocele or want to be fertile for any reason, you can get it treated. In case if varicocele affects your fertility, assisted reproduction (IVF or ICSI) may be an option for you.
Generally, the sooner you start the treatment, the more chances of remaining fertile. Varicocelectomy and Varicocele embolization are additional treatment options that are available and your doctor can explain to you if he/she decides that you need any of them.
Varicocelectomy is a surgery performed to remove the enlarged veins to restore normal blood flow to the testicle. Once the proper blood flow resumes, sperm production and development happens normally. Varicocele embolization is a procedure in which the blood flow through the affected vein is cut off and diverted.
What is the cost of varicocele surgery in Chennai?
Treatment cost of varicocele or the surgery cost depends on the diagnosis. If your varicocele is in the beginning stages, your doctor may not go for surgery right away unless he/she thinks that it may affect your fertility.
Cost of varicocele depends on a person’s medical condition and also varies from clinic to clinic. If you hold a health insurance, you can check with the insurance section of the clinic if your treatment cost is covered as a part of your policy.
Can finesteride be used if premature ejaculation present?
We can’t suggest medicines without seeing the problem. Medicines that you see online and use will cause more damage.
Hii doctor I’m Sanjay an I’m 26yrs old I have been masturbating since many years in between I started masturbating thrice a day an now I feel like my penis have become weak an it’s rotated towards left.
I’m worried about it doctor can you pls suggest me to get cure of it… Even now a days I’m after masturbating I’m feeling negative thing’s….
Plssssss suggest me doctor I’m worried alot about my future.
Can Varicocele patient, take Covid (Covisheild) vaccination ?
Yes, pls go ahead.