If you and your wife are trying to conceive and are not successful, you both may want to get evaluated to find out if a doctor can determine what is preventing this from happening. There are many things that can hinder the ability for a couple to get pregnant, and one of these conditions is called a varicocele, and this condition affects men. If this is the diagnosis you receive from your doctor, you should be happy to hear that it can be corrected in most cases.
What is a varicocele?
A varicocele is a condition that accounts for around 38% of male infertility cases. In other words, it is one of the common causes of male infertility. A varicocele is basically an abnormal vein found somewhere in the scrotum, and is similar to a varicose vein. When there is a varicocele present, it can cause a decrease in the amount of sperm your body produces, and it may even cause the testicles to shrink.
How is it diagnosed?
In most cases, doctors are able to diagnose varicoceles simply by examining a man's testicles. If the doctor finds a lump, visible veins, and swelling in this area, you probably have a varicocele. You may have pain or other symptoms with a varicocele, or you might not experience any pain or discomfort at all. In addition, you can have a varicocele and have no problems reproducing. In this case, you may never even know that you have this issue, and you will never need to have it treated if it is not causing any problems.
How is it treated?
After your doctor diagnoses you with this condition, he or she can discuss treatment options. Here are two common way doctors treat this condition:
- Surgery – Because a varicocele is a vein issue, a doctor can use surgery to get to the affected veins in order to fix them. This will require stopping the blood flow in the veins, and this will typically solve the issue.
- Embolization – Another option is through embolization, which is not a surgical procedure. For this, a doctor accesses your veins with a tube and uses a dye to stop the blood flow to this vein.
Both methods work well and the chances of being able to fix your infertility issues are very high if you have this condition. To learn more about male infertility issues, contact a clinic, such as the Advanced Urology Associates, which specializes in helping couples get pregnant.