What is a Varicocele
If you’re familiar with varicose veins in the legs, a varicocele is the same condition, but in the scrotum. In other words, a varicocele is a bunch of dilated veins in the scrotum that are filled with excess blood. These veins are usually visible as lumps on the scrotum. They may feel like a bag of worms. About 20% of the male population has a varicocele.
Many men don’t realize they have a varicocele because the veins typically don’t hurt and they don’t change the feeling of orgasm or ejaculation. A varicocele can happen at any age, and the older you are the more likely you are to have a varicocele.
Causes of Varicocele
Varicoceles are probably the result of subtle genetic conditions that remain unknown. But what we do know is this: When a man has a varicocele, the veins become enlarged because some of the tiny valves inside the veins don’t close properly. These valves normally prevent blood from draining backwards. When these valves fail, blood pools in the veins, causing them to swell. This increase in blood flow makes the testicles warmer. In an effort to cool down, the scrotum moves away from the body, but still remains warm. This can cause a number of problems.
Why Treat Varicocele?
Many doctors still don’t recognize the role that varicoceles play in male infertility and other problems. Some doctors minimize the importance of having varicoceles corrected surgically. But a varicocele can cause problems for men of any age. These problems include infertility, decreased testosterone production, abnormal genitalia and testicular pain. These are the reasons that men go to see a doctor, and often the diagnosis is varicocele.