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Varicocele Inforgraphic

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Varicocele Poster

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Did you know? Varicocele

A varicocele (VAR-ih-koe-seel) is an abnormal enlargement of veins within the scrotum (just above the testis). Varicoceles are similar to varicose veins, but they occur around the testicles rather than the legs. Varicocele is very common, with more than 3 million cases reported each year in the United States. Vacicocele is found in about 15% of males, but many are not aware they have it. Varicoce...

Symptoms

Most males with a varicocele have no symptoms. But varicoceles are a concern for many reasons. Some may cause infertility (problems fathering a child) and slow growth of the left testicle during puberty. Varicoceles may be the cause of fertility problems in about four out of ten men who have problems fathering their first child. They may also be the cause of fertility problems in about eight out o...

Varicocele 101 with Dr. Sarah Vij

A varicocele is when veins become enlarged inside your scrotum (the pouch of skin that holds your testicles). Dr. Sarah Vij joins the Urology Care Podcast to discuss what to know about this condition. Dr. Vij is a urologist with the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Varicoceles

A varicocele is when veins become enlarged inside your scrotum (the pouch of skin that holds your testicles). These veins are called the pampiniform plexus. Out of one hundred males, ten to fifteen have varicocele. It is like getting a varicose vein in your leg. What Happens Normally? The male reproductive system makes, stores, and moves sperm. The scrotum is the sac of skin that holds the testic...

Causes

Many causes of varicoceles have been offered. The valves in the veins may not work well (or may be missing). If blood flow is sluggish, blood may pool in the veins. Also, the larger veins moving from the testicles towards the heart are connected differently on the left and right side. So more pressure is needed on the left side to keep blood flowing through the veins towards the heart. If blood fl...

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions What will happen if I choose not to be treated? Majority of males with varicocele will not have problems. One out of five males with varicocele will experience difficulty fathering children. Semen analysis is highly recommended after age 16 years to determine if varicocele repair is needed. If a semen analysis is normal it is recommended to have a repeat analysis every 2...

Diagnosis

Varicoceles are found through self-exam of the scrotum or during a routine doctor’s exam. They have been described as a “bag of worms” because of how they look and feel. Urologists often check for varicoceles with the patient standing. You may be asked to take a deep breath, hold it, and bear down while your urologist feels the scrotum above the testicle. This technique is known ...

After Treatment

Healing after surgery is fast and pain is often mild. You should avoid exercise for 10 to 14 days. You can often return to work 5 to 7 days after surgery. You will also follow-up with your urologist. For surgery done for fertility problems, semen analysis is done three to four months later. Healing after embolization is also relatively short with only mild pain. You should avoid exercise for 7 to ...

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