A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins in the pouch of loose skin that supports the testicles (scrotum). A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that you can see on your leg.
Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and reduced sperm quality, which can lead to infertility. However, not all varicoceles affect sperm production. Varicoceles can also prevent the testicles from growing or shrinking normally.
Most varicoceles develop over time. Fortunately, most varicoceles are easy to diagnose, and many don’t need treatment. If a varicocele is causing symptoms, it can often be corrected with surgery.
What are the symptoms of varicocele?
A varicocele often produces no signs or symptoms. In rare cases, this can cause pain, and this pain can-
- Range from sharp discomfort to dull discomfort
- Try to increase with physical exertion for long periods
- Gets worse in a day
- Feel relieved when you lie on your back
- Impaired fertility
What are the causes of varicocele?
It is not known for certain what causes varicocele.
However, many experts believe that a varicocele forms when valves in the veins of the umbilical cord prevent blood flow from flowing properly. The resulting support causes the veins to widen (dilate). This could damage the testicles and affect fertility.
Varicoceles often form during puberty. Varicoceles usually develop on the left side, possibly due to the location of the left testicular vein.