Varicocele may occur if a malfunction of the valves of the testicular vein causes blood to pool and enlarges the veins within the scrotum. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in the leg. Generally, varicoceles develop over time. Approximately 15% of the male population have varicoceles.

What are the symptoms of a varicocele?

Varicoceles are often asymptomatic and discovered when a man comes in to be evaluated for infertility. Sometimes, the varicocele causes pain in the scrotum. If pain is experienced, it is generally mild to moderate and occurs after long periods of sitting, standing or activity. Varicoceles are not associated with erectile dysfunction or urinary issues.

How can varicocele affect my fertility?

The pooling of blood affects the circulation in the testes, changing the temperature and affecting the microenvironment of the testes. As a result, decreased sperm count, decreased motility and poor morphology may occur.

How can IVF Michigan & Ohio Fertility Centers help me if I have a varicocele?

In some cases, a varicocele may be removed through Microscopic Varicocelectomy. Varicocelectomy involves a small microsurgical procedure in which all the swollen veins are tied off while preserving the normal blood vessels. In many patients this can result in a dramatic increase in sperm counts and motility. If you are not a candidate for Varicocelectomy, depending on the sperm count, IVF-ICSI will most likely be recommended by your physician.