What is Varicocele, What Are its Causes?
Varicocele, which is one of the causes of infertility in men, is the problem of varicose veins occurring when there is an expansion in the veins in the testicles of the man. When the valves in the veins that drain the dirty blood in the testicles are insufficient, the vein enlarges and varicose veins occur.
Varicocele usually does not cause any symptoms, but rarely causes pain, soreness and swelling. Varicocele, which is seen in approximately 35% of men struggling with infertility, is seen in 15% of all men in different severities. Early diagnosis and treatment of varicocele is important. Otherwise, unbearable pain, shrinkage of testicle sizes, decrease in testosterone hormone production and infertility problem may occur due to the decrease in sperm quality and number. In advanced varicocele problems, the texture and structure of the testicles are damaged, pain increases, swelling reaches noticeable levels and it is difficult to find healthy sperm.
What are the symptoms of varicocele?
In the initial stages of varicocele, it usually does not show any symptoms. However, in the following periods, complaints such as pain, swelling, excessive sweating are felt in the testicles. In particular, complaints of pain and aches increase in the case of long-term standing or sitting and are alleviated when resting while lying down.
While the pain that increases in the evening after a tired day may be at levels that disrupt sleep, the patient usually does not feel any pain when he wakes up in the morning. From the later processes of the disease, how much the vessels expand can be seen even with the naked eye. Although no complaints are observed, varicocele problem can be detected in the tests, examinations and examinations applied to men who apply to the doctor with infertility problem.
Why does varicocele occur?
When there is a problem in the valves of the vessels that provide blood transfer to and from the testicles to the testicles, take the dirty blood and bring clean blood to the testicles, the vessels expand and the varicocele problem is experienced. When the vascular valves do not work with full function, dirty blood is collected in the vessels, just like in the legs, varicose veins form. Although the factor that causes the inadequate functioning of the vascular valves is not exactly known, it is known that this disorder generally begins in adolescence. Varicocele, which is mostly seen in the left testicular bag, can occur in both testicles. Whether varicocele is in one or both testicles, it affects not only the testicle where the varicocele is, but also the quality of sperm that the testicles will produce in total.
How is varicocele diagnosed?
Although there are many advanced medical techniques available to diagnose varicocele discomfort, the most successful and easiest diagnostic technique is the doctor’s physical examination by hand and eye. Along with physical examination, methods such as color or normal Doppler stethoscope, thermography, scrotal ultrasonography, scintigraphy and venography are used. While physical examination is sufficient for doctors who are experts in this field, varicocele is diagnosed by applying color Doppler stethoscopy technique in cases where there is doubt in physical examination.
How is varicocele treated?
First of all, it is worth noting that there is no need for treatment in varicocele problem that does not cause any complaints or symptoms. Varicocele disease is treated with surgical operation. If the number and quality of sperm is considered sufficient in the sperm test, surgery is not necessary, and if there is a decrease in the number and quality of sperm, surgery is performed.
The success rate of the surgery is 95%, and the sperm count, motility and quality of the man increase by 70% after the treatment. In the treatment of varicocele, the operation is performed microscopically and this operation takes about half an hour. A few hours after the operation, which does not adversely affect the patient’s daily routine life, work conditions, the patient can return home and go to work the next day. In the sperm test performed 3 months after the operation, an increase in the number and quality of sperm is observed around 60% compared to before the operation. After the treatment, the patient should go to the doctor’s control at regular intervals and be checked regularly. Especially in patients who plan to have a baby, controls are much more important.
Why does varicocele cause infertility?
In order for sperm production in the testicles to take place in a healthy way, the dirty blood here should be emptied regularly and the temperature of the testicles should remain at a certain level. However, in varicocele problem, toxic metabolites in this dirty blood, which cannot be excreted because of the disorder in the dirty blood flow from the veins, disrupt the sperm structure and the dirty blood increases the temperature of the testicles. It is not possible to say that varicocele makes every man infertile. However, it is possible to say that 70% of patients with varicocele cannot have a baby naturally without treatment. Because varicocele reduces the sperm count, motility and maturity of the man.