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Varicocele and fertility


Varicocele can affect fertility, and surgery and reproduction techniques can be used as effective means of treatment.



Varicocele is one of the most common problems worldwide affecting the male reproductive system. Although it is almost always diagnosed in adult males, in reality the problem starts in childhood.

Varicocele consists of inflammation in the veins inside the scrotum. This occurs when the valves inside the veins stop blood from flowing normally, which causes the veins to dilate, leading to inflammation. Generally this condition develops slowly in men aged 15 to 25. In addition to the inflammation of veins as mentioned previously, symptoms usually include inflammation of the scrotum or slight swelling. Often, however, a diagnosis is not made due to a lack of symptoms or tell-tale signs which indicate that there is a problem.

Repercussions on fertility

Inflammation can lead to an increase in temperature, which in turn causes a lack of oxygen. There are also other factors that are not yet known about that are currently being researched. These changes in temperature and oxygenation might have a direct impact on the part of the testicles that produces sperm, by decreasing the quantity and quality of sperm and thus adversely affecting male fertility.

How can it be detected in time?

As mentioned earlier, the condition does not always present obvious symptoms.

However, other secondary symptoms may be detected, which include:

– A heavy and tight feeling around the testicles, which may only be experienced intermittently, or as slight discomfort

– Discomfort in the groin during or after sport activities

– Slight and temporary pain in the groin, especially when standing

Is it possible to father children if diagnosed with variocele?

Yes, it is possible. Depending on the seriousness of the disease, fertility can be affected to a greater or lesser degree. It also depends on the length of time that the person has been affected with variocele. Following a wait of some months post surgery, sufficient sperm production can sometimes be recovered, enabling men to father children. Depending on the patient’s condition, a sperm analysis can be used to pinpoint assisted reproduction techniques to help a couple conceive. These include artificial insemination, fertilisation via ICSI, testicular biopsy and, in severe cases, sperm donation.

If you have any queries about this male condition, or about any other factors that might affect male fertility, please send us an email to the following address, or request a consultation (free first consultation) by ringing +34 91 458 58 04.

About the author


At ProcreaTec, we understand the road toward a healthy pregnancy is not always easy. Through this blog, we want to reach out to all who are struggling on the path of infertility to find support. If you have any questions or would like to tell us about your situation, you can comment on the posts or send us an e-mail.
If you would like to learn more about our clinic, we invite you to visit our website
ProcreaTec: converting patients into parents.

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