Your spermatic cord carries blood to and from your testicles. It's not certain what causes varicoceles. However, many experts believe a varicocele forms when the valves inside the veins in the cord prevent your blood from flowing properly. The resulting backup causes the veins to widen (dilate). This may then result in damage to the testicle and result in worsened fertility.
Varicoceles often form during puberty. Varicoceles usually occur on the left side, most likely because of the position of the left testicular vein. However, a varicocele in one testicle can affect sperm production in both testicles.
Dec. 06, 2014
- Varicoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=116. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Eyre RC. Evaluation of nonacute scrotal pathology in adult men. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Masson P, et al. The varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2014;41:129.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=468779756-21. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Trost LW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 23, 2014.
- Nork JJ, et al. Youth varicocele and varicocele treatment: A meta-analysis of semen outcomes. Fertility and Sterility: 2104;102:381.