Varicocele is a common condition that affects male fertility. This condition leads to the enlargement and twisting of veins in the scrotum. As a result, blood gets accumulated in the veins and causes swelling and increased temperature in the scrotum. Though this condition can affect both sides of the scrotum, it usually occurs on the left side. Men who have varicocele can have decreased sperm quality and production.

Common Signs of Varicocele

Varicocele can develop in the early stages of puberty and the enlarged veins can grow in size with time. Varicocele remains unnoticed as they do not show signs and they are detected in routine physical examination. In some cases, varicocele can show the following signs:

  • Aching pain after sitting or standing for longer durations
  • Swelling or lumps in the scrotum
  • Shrinking of the affected testicle (testicular atrophy)
  • Fertility issues such as reduced sperm count, decreased sperm motility, etc.

What Causes Varicocele?

The exact reason for varicocele is unknown. However, it is assumed to be due to the malfunctioning of valves in the veins. Due to this, blood gets pooled in the veins and causes dilation in the veins.

Apart from this, the following are some of the risk factors for developing varicocele:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Anatomical abnormalities

How Does Varicocele Affect Male Fertility?

Varicocele can affect male fertility in some people. Varicocele can affect the normal functioning of the testicles. As blood gets pooled in the veins, the temperature inside the scrotum increases. Due to the increased temperature in the scrotum, sperm count and production can be affected. Along with this, varicocele can also lead to decreased sperm motility and abnormal sperm morphology. It can also lead to oxidative stress and hormonal imbalances in men.

Many men consider treatment for varicocele only if it affects fertility. If you have any fertility issues, consider visiting a fertility specialist. The fertility specialist can help with the early diagnosis and treatment.

Different Treatment Options for Varicocele

Treatment for varicocele is not required unless it causes fertility issues or discomfort. The treatment for varicocele is considered a part of fertility treatment for men. The different treatment options include:

  • Surgical repair: Surgery for varicocele treatment focuses on blocking the affected vein and redirecting the blood flow to the healthy veins in the scrotum. With surgery, sperm count improves and sperm irregularities also get corrected.
  • Embolization: It is a non-surgical procedure that uses imaging tests and other instruments to treat the condition. An interventional radiologist performs the procedure and a catheter is inserted into the affected vein. Now, a contrast dye is injected to locate the problem. Then, a tiny coil or solution is used to block the blood flow in the affected vein.
  • Assisted-reproductive techniques: If the above treatments do not restore fertility, assisted-reproductive techniques (ART) can be used. IVF, ICSI, and IUI are some of the assisted reproductive techniques.

What Can I Do to Improve My Fertility If I Have Varicocele?

If you have a varicocele, making certain lifestyle changes can help improve fertility. The following are some of them:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid hot tubs, and saunas
  • Manage stress with yoga and meditation
  • Follow a healthy diet that contains antioxidants and nutrients to promote sperm health
  • Practise regular exercise

Have Trouble in Conceiving? Visit Fertility Specialists at Angels Fertility Today

If you and your partner have been struggling to become parents, visiting doctors at Angels Fertility Center can help you. We have qualified and experienced fertility specialists who can treat fertility issues in both men and women. Our team of gynaecologists, fertility specialists, and dedicated staff have helped thousands of couples to have a baby. We understand that dealing with infertility is difficult and we will be with you in every step of your way towards having a baby. Give us a call and we can help you to fulfil your dream of having a baby.