What are varicoceles?

Scrotal varicoceles occur when the veins that drain a testicle are enlarged. There are four grades of varicocele. Subclinical grade is a varicocele which is detectable with ultrasound. Grade 1 is detectable by touch only with valsalva, as when coughing or bearing down. Grade 2 is detectable by touch without valsalva, as when lying down or at rest. Grade 3 can be seen with the eye, and obvious without feeling them. They are more common on the left, since the left spermatic vein drains to the left renal vein which has more pressure than where the right drains; the inferior vena cava. Varicoceles can affect fertility by lowering sperm count and motlity. Rarely varicoceles can occur due to masses in the abdomen or vascular problems. Other than that, they are benign and wouldn’t require treatment unless fertility is an issue or they are bothersome in some way.

Category: Men's Health

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