A varicocele (VAR-ih-koe-seel) is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in your leg.
Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility. However, not all varicoceles affect sperm production. Varicoceles can also cause testicles to shrink.
Most varicoceles develop over time. Fortunately, most varicoceles are easy to diagnose and many don't need treatment. If a varicocele causes symptoms, it often can be repaired surgically.
Jul. 02, 2014
- Mohammed A, et al. Testicular varicocele: An overview. Urology International. 2009;82:373.
- Varicoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=116. Accessed Mar. 30, 2014.
- Khera M, et al. Evolving approach to the varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2008;35:183.
- Robinson SP, et al. Treatment strategy for the adolescent varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2010;37:269.
- Wampler SM, et al. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:613.
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