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9 Things You Must Know About Varicocele by Joseph Estes

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Varicocele is something that affects fifteen percent of all men.  Though it is not considered one of the more serious conditions a person can contract, there are still some things that folks ought to educate themselves on about the topic.  The list below contains nine things that you must know about Varicocele to be better equipped to recognize and deal with the condition.

  1. What is Varicocele? Varicocele is described by the Mayo Clinic as “an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in your leg.”
  2. Who is susceptible to Varicocele? Men, primarily during puberty or shortly after, are the most prone to contracting varicocele.
  3. What are the signs and symptoms of Varicocele?  “It may cause discomfort leading to a heavy dragging feeling in the scrotum”. As more of a late sign of varicocele, individuals affected by it in only one testis will notice a difference in size between the two testes.  The affected testis will be smaller than the unaffected.
  4. What is the Cause? Varicocele is a result of the testes growing during puberty.  When the growth increases, so does the need for blood.  The excess blood that gets pumped to the testes can pool in the veins of the scrotum if the one-way valves of the veins are not adequately functioning.
  5. What are the Effects?  Infertility, under-developed testes, low testosterone, and low sperm counts are the primary effects of Varicocele.  Varicocele must be dealt with early on to nip these side effects in the bud. If not dealt with promptly, the testes will not grow to their full size.  Underdeveloped testes are big contributors to low testosterone, low sperm, and infertility.
  6. How is Varicocele diagnosed?  It can primarily be diagnosed through a physical exam.  If the veins are enlarged enough, the physician will be able to feel the twisted veins by palpation. The second physical test is performed by “taking a deep breath and bearing down.” If the results are inconclusive after both of those tests, a scrotal ultrasound is often performed to ensure that there is not a tumor present.
  7. Can it be prevented? There is no clear-cut way to avoid Varicocele.  One thing to note, however, is that if infertility is not a problem, then IB Profen or other over-the-counter painkillers can help to keep it at bay, and in certain cases it will take care of itself without the need for any further intervention.
  8. What is the Cure? As stated in the above paragraph, there is sometimes no need for seeking treatment.  However, in the cases where treatment is needed a procedure can be performed called Varicocele repair.  This is a surgery that will inhibit blood flow through the affected vein and redirect it elsewhere to aid in reducing its size.
  9. Can women Contract Varicocele? Not unless they have a scrotum.

In conclusion, there is not much one can do about avoiding Varicocele, so don’t worry about it.  If there is pain in your scrotum and/or you can’t get your wife pregnant, it might be worth a check.




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