What Problems Can Varicoceles In Your Scrotum Cause And When Should You See A Urologist About Them?

Posted on: 25 February 2022

Varicoceles occur when blood pools in the veins in your scrotum, and it's a fairly common problem among young men. Veins normally have valves that prevent blood from flowing backward through them while it's on the way back to your heart, but these valves malfunction when you have varicoceles — the blood flows backward and collects, causing the veins to bulge.

Large varicoceles are often easily visible. The bulging veins in the scrotum have a swollen, worm-like appearance. Smaller varicoceles may not be visible, but you'll usually be able to feel the bulging veins underneath your skin. Thankfully, varicoceles don't cause any serious health issues. However, they can impair fertility, making it difficult for you and your partner to successfully conceive a child. To learn more about what problems varicoceles can cause and when you should see a urologist about them, read on.

What Problems Can Varicoceles Cause?

The primary problem associated with varicoceles is that they can reduce fertility. Testes are located outside of the body because they produce sperm best when they're kept cool. All of the blood pooling near them in the varicoceles raises their temperature, which can reduce sperm count along with sperm quality. As a result, some men with varicoceles have difficulty conceiving.

Varicoceles can also cause aching pain, and this pain can sometimes be severe. The pain is usually at its worst after standing all day, and it will get better if you lie down for a while — this enables the pooled blood to circulate out of the veins more easily.

When Should You See a Urologist About Your Varicoceles?

If you have varicoceles and you're having trouble conceiving with your partner, you should see a urologist to have your varicoceles examined. Even small varicoceles can cause issues with fertility. Treating varicoceles normally boosts sperm count and sperm quality by keeping the testes cooler, which makes conception easier.

How Are Varicoceles Treated?

Varicoceles are treated surgically by ligation. A urologist will make an incision into your scrotum and tie off the veins that are allowing blood to pool in them. This redirects the flow of blood in your scrotum to veins that work normally, which stops any more blood from pooling near your testes.

Surgical treatment is usually reserved for when the varicoceles are causing issues with fertility issues. If your varicoceles are only causing pain, the pain can normally be resolved by providing your scrotum with more support. Wearing a jockstrap or compression briefs that pull your scrotum upwards aids in blood flow, which reduces the likelihood of blood pooling in your veins. You can find both of these items at sporting goods stores since long-distance runners commonly wear compression briefs.

If you're having issues with your fertility and have visible varicoceles or suspect that you may have them, schedule an appointment with a urologist for an examination. Surgically tying off the varicoceles in order to prevent blood from pooling in them is a quick procedure with a rapid recovery time, and it's quite effective at improving fertility.

If you need to talk to a urologist, contact a medical clinic like Nashville Healthcare Center.