What are Varicoceles?
A varicocele is an enlarged set of veins in the scrotum, most often found on the left side. A varicocele is similar to varicose veins you may see in a leg. Varicoceles can cause low sperm production, low sperm quality, and infertility. Much like in varicose veins, the valves in these veins become damaged and blood begins to pool, increasing the pressure and dilating the veins.
What Causes Varicoceles?
The exact cause of varicoceles is unknown. Varicoceles are more commonly found in the left testicle due to the left testicular vein following a more complicated path back to the heart; which is more prone to issues.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Varicoceles?
- Testicle pain when standing
- Visible enlargement of scrotum veins
- Differently sized testicles (left typically larger)
What are the risk factors of Varicoceles?
There are no common risk factors that contribute to a varicocele. Some studies indicate that obesity could play a role, but there is still limited data at this time.