A varicocele is when veins become enlarged inside your scrotum (the pouch of skin that holds your testicles). These veins are called the pampinifrom plexus. Out of 100 males, 10 to 15 have varicocele. It is like getting a varicose vein in your leg.
Varicocele are when the pampiniform plexus veins in the scrotum become enlarged. These veins are like Varicose veins. Varicoceles form during puberty. These are more common on the leftside of the scrotum. Varicoceles can exist on both sides at the same time, but this is rare.
Most of the time, varicocele cause no problem and are harmless. Less often varicocele causes pain, problems fathering a child, or one testicle to grow slower or shrink.
Varicocele often produces no signs or symptoms. Rarely, it might cause pain. Some symptoms may be –
• a lump in one of your testicles
• swelling in your scrotum
• Symptoms that get worse after certain activities, such as bike riding or being on your feet for hours.
• visibly enlarged or twisted veins in your scrotum, which are often described as looking like a bag of worms
• a dull, recurring pain in your scrotum
• Vary from sharp to dull discomfort
• Worsen over the course of a day
• Be relieved when you lie on your back
• Impaired fertility
With time, varicoceles might enlarge and become more noticeable. The condition might cause a swollen testicle, almost always on the left side.
Much remains unknown about why varicoceles develop. It may be that varicoceles occur due to a faulty “switch” (or valve) inside certain veins in the spermatic cord, a band of tissues that holds the testicles in place.
Each testicle has a spermatic cord holding it up. The spermatic cord has veins, arteries, and nerves. The veins have valves that keep blood flowing in one direction — toward the heart. If a valve in the spermatic cord doesn’t close the way it should, blood backs up and causes a varicocele.
Varicocele may (rarely) develop if there is a blockage of larger veins higher in the tummy (abdomen). This puts back-pressure on the smaller veins in the scrotum which then enlarge (dilate). This is only likely to occur in men older than 40. For example, if a varicocele suddenly develops in an older man, it may indicate a tumour of the kidney has developed which is pressing on veins.
It must be stressed, the vast majority of varicoceles develop in teenagers and young men and are not due to a serious condition.
Risk factors –
There don’t appear to be any significant risk factors for developing a varicocele.
• Shrinkage of the affected testicle (atrophy).
The bulk of the testicle comprises sperm-producing tubules. When damaged, as from varicocele, the testicle shrinks and softens. It’s not clear what causes the testicle to shrink, but the malfunctioning valves allow blood to pool in the veins, which can result in increased pressure in the veins and exposure to toxins in the blood that may cause testicular damage.
Varicoceles might keep the local temperature in or around the testicle too high, affecting sperm formation, movement (motility) and function.
Your doctor usually diagnoses the condition after a physical exam. A varicocele can’t always be felt or seen when you’re lying down. Your doctor will most likely examine your testicles while you’re standing up and lying down.
Your doctor may need to perform a scrotal ultrasound.
Your provider may recommend semen tests or blood tests if you are concerned that a varicocele may affect your fertility.
It’s not always necessary to treat a varicocele. However, you may want to consider treatment if the varicocele:
• causes pain
• causes testicular atrophy
• causes infertility
Wearing tight underwear or a jock strap can sometimes provide you with support that alleviates pain or discomfort.
Additional treatment, such as varicocelectomy and varicocele embolization, might be necessary if your symptoms get worse.
A varicocelectomy is a same-day surgery that’s done in a hospital. A urologist will go in through your abdomen or pelvis and clamp or tie off the abnormal veins. Blood can then flow around the abnormal veins to the normal ones.
▪︎ Varicocele embolization
Varicocele embolization is a less invasive, same-day procedure. A small catheter is inserted into a groin or neck vein. A coil is then placed into the catheter and into the varicocele. This blocks blood from getting to the abnormal veins.
Ayurvedic formulations –
• Kanchnar Guggulu
• Vridhivadhika Vati
• Avipattikar Churna
• Ajmodadi Churna
• Punarnava Mandur
• Arogyavardhini Vati
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