When trying to become pregnant, there are so many necessary elements involved that it may seem like a miracle that couples are ever able to conceive. When the process does become difficult or unsuccessful, however, it means that there are numerous elements to evaluate in order to find the solution. Nearly 30% of infertility issues are male-based and a remarkable number of men have a condition called varicoceles. Varicoceles of the testicle have been linked to male fertility issues, and men may not even know it until they try to become a father. It is important to consult with a specialist to receive effective varicoceles treatment.
Enlarged veins occur when the veins responsible for draining blood away from the testicles become enlarged like varicose veins. As a result, varicoceles can increase pressure in the testicular vein and cause the testes to overheat, which can significantly impair sperm production. The enlarged testicular vein more often develops on the left testicle, but can also affect both the left and the right. Nearly 10 to 15 out of every 100 men have some degree of varicocele vein enlargement. However, it is important to note that not all men experience symptoms or reduced male fertility as a result of varicoceles in Los Angeles.
What Causes Enlarged Testicular Veins?
There are several theories behind why some men develop varicoceles. Unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown. It is suspected that varicoceles may develop when the valves inside the testicular vein, which directs blood from the testicle toward the heart, do not function correctly, causing the blood to pool within the vein. Over time, the varicoceles testicular vein can dilate or become wider, which can reduce the pressure needed to keep the blood flowing consistently.
In many cases, varicoceles develop during puberty without causing noticeable symptoms until later in life, while some men who have varicoceles may never experience symptoms or complications as a result of the testicular vein enlargement.
In a Nutshell:
- What is it? Some of the veins draining blood from the testicle(s) become dilated and enlarged, which can cause the testicle(s) to “overheat.”
- Symptoms: Varicoceles may have no symptoms or cause male infertility, testicular shrinkage (atrophy), pain and discomfort in the testicle(s), etc.
- How it is diagnosed: Detailed physical examination by your urologist and possibly a testicular ultrasound
- Treatment: If varicoceles cause problems, surgical ligation or embolization of the affected veins can resolve the issue. Varicoceles can be treated with microsurgery and through a small incision, which is done as an outpatient and you can expect fast recovery afterwards.
Do You Have Varicoceles?
The signs and symptoms of testicular vein enlargement can vary widely for each individual, and many men may not even experience any symptoms. The most common signs include:
- Pain or discomfort, particularly after a long day of standing or activity
- Pain or discomfort that subsides when lying down to rest
- Swelling of the scrotum
- Enlarged, twisting veins inside the scrotum that can be seen or felt
- Limited or slow growth of one testicle
- Testicular atrophy (shrinkage)
- Low sperm count
- Low testosterone
Varicoceles can be accurately diagnosed with a physical exam by a skilled doctor, such as the urologists at Comprehensive Urology in Beverly Hills. The exam may also involve a scrotal ultrasound in order to gain a detailed image of the veins if they cannot be seen or felt. Dr. Kia Michel and his team at Comprehensive Urology will determine whether or not to treat varicoceles based on the following factors:
- The testicular vein enlargement reduces sperm count and cause infertility
- The condition causes testicular atrophy
- The testicular vein enlargement causes pain and discomfort
Men who suspect they may have varicoceles should consult with a urologist for a reliable diagnosis and access to the best varicoceles treatment options available for restoring male fertility.
What are the Best Treatments for Enlarged Testicular Veins?
In the event that testicular vein enlargement treatment is recommended, a patient may be eligible for the following treatments at Beverly Hills Comprehensive Urology. It is important to note that surgery and treatment may not always be necessary for varicoceles, so it is vital to consult with a male fertility specialist and urologist.
A varicocelectomy is a minimally-invasive microsurgical procedure in which the abnormally large testicular vein is dissected and sutured shut in order to direct the blood flow to the normal surrounding veins and restore male fertility. The testicular vein enlargement treatment is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that patients can return home within the same day as the operation. In most cases, patients will fully recovery from a varicocelectomy within two to three days. Read more about varicocelectomy at WebMD.com.
This non-surgical treatment for symptomatic varicoceles is performed using a catheter that is directed through a vein in the leg or the neck. A small coil is placed in the enlarged testicular vein to block blood flow and redirect the blood to other normal veins. The procedure involves such a small incision that sutures are not necessary and the entire procedure is completed in only an hour.
To learn more about male fertility treatment options for varicoceles and whether this condition is responsible for your infertility issues, it is crucial to undergo expert care with a board-certified urologist.
Schedule a Male Fertility Consultation Today
If you suspect that varicoceles are interfering with your plan to start a family or causing pain and discomfort, do not hesitate to contact a skilled urologist in Los Angeles today for an accurate diagnosis and individualized varicoceles treatment plan for male fertility. The male fertility specialists at Comprehensive Urology have decades of combined experience and understand the importance of achieving the best possible outcome for each and every patient. Please call (310) 499-2756 today to schedule a consultation or comprehensive exam.
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