Have you ever heard anyone talk about varicose or spider veins in their legs? A varicocele is very similar to a varicose vein, just in a much different location. Just as varicose veins cause raised, bumpy veins in the legs, a varicocele can cause a soft lump, or lumps, to be present in the testicle. Usually, these lumps are not related to cancer and are not life threatening, but they can definitely interfere with male fertility and male hormone production.
Varicoceles can decrease sperm concentration, morphology, and motility, which can greatly impact the ability to conceive. Having varicoceles can cause “stress” to the testicles. Think about how stress can alter the way that you react in a situation. Under stress, many people have a hard time making decisions and performing at their best.
Believe it or not, the same thing can happen to the testicles. The “stress” to the testicle can cause the temperature of the testicles to rise, decreasing the testicles’ capability to produce sperm. Thus, the testicles are not performing at their best. If you feel lumps in your testicle or your semen analysis results are poor, you should follow up with a urologist for further evaluation and treatment. A urologist will conduct a physical exam to determine if a varicocele is present and then recommend the best treatment course.
The good news is that if you have a varicocele it can be treated or repaired, which can offer statistical improvements in sperm count and morphology. Varicocele repair is an outpatient procedure and the recovery time is only a few days. Several different techniques are available to repair varicoceles and your physician will discuss the options with you.
After a repair, a couple’s chances for pregnancy increases more than three times and sperm parameters also improve. Varicocele repair, however, is not just for couples that are trying to conceive. Having a varicocele can also affect a man’s testosterone level and interfere with satisfaction in daily life. A varicocele repair can help increase testosterone, improving energy level, sex drive, and the ability to have an erection.
The bottom line is that if you think you may have a varicocele, either from an examination or poor semen analysis results, contact a urologist for further evaluation. Varicocele identification and repair can help enhance quality of life and improve your odds of conceiving the child you desire.
For more information, visit www.urologyaustin.com.