Does Varicocele Cause Infertility in Men?
Varicocele is the swelling of the veins — also known as pampiniform plexus — within the scrotum. It occurs only in the scrotum and very similar to the varicose veins that occur in the leg. It often results in decreased sperm count and quality, which can ultimately result in infertility. In some cases, if the condition gets worse, it can also shrink the testicles.

Varicoceles can be found in around 15% of the adult male population and 20% of adolescent males. It is prevalent in males aged 15 to 25. This condition develops during puberty and can be found on the left side of the scrotum. The anatomy of both sides of your scrotum is different. Even though varicoceles may occur on both sides, it's sporadic. Moreover, not all varicoceles affect sperm count and quality.

Around 15 out of 100 men have this condition. However, it is difficult to predict which of these 15 will have fertility problems caused by their varicocele. In fact, 4 out of 10 men tested for fertility issues have this condition and decreased sperm movement. Infertility due to varicocele is not linked to other defects, ethnic group, place of birth, or race. Though varicoceles are often found in men diagnosed with varicocele, 8 out of 10 men who have a varicocele do not face fertility issues.

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Does Varicocele Lead to Infertility?


Most men diagnosed with varicoceles do not face fertility issues. Infertility among those with varicoceles, nevertheless, is higher than those without them. The difference lies in the fact that varicoceles interfere with the body’s ability to produce and store sperms.

According to a 2014 study involving 816 men with infertility issues, almost one third were diagnosed with this condition. This rate suggests that this condition is sometimes, but not always, a major factor in infertility. Studies on whether treating varicoceles can increase the chances of fertility are mixed.

According to a 2012 meta-analysis of past studies, treating a varicocele might improve fertility, particularly if the cause of a couple’s infertility is not known. In any case, the scientists warn that the study is still in its nascent stages and evidence is weak, and more research is needed to confirm the analysis.

The major problem with varicoceles is that the enlargement of veins may damage sperm and lower its count. In people with an average sperm count, a varicocele is unlikely to cause infertility.

When a couple is facing problems with conceiving, it is important to undergo a variety of tests, including a sperm count, and not assume that this condition is necessarily the main reason.

Symptoms
The majority of men with this condition experience no symptoms. However, it is a concern for several reasons. Some are responsible for infertility and slow growth of the left testicle compared to the right during puberty. Almost 4 out of 10 men face problems while conceiving their first child.

Varicoceles rarely cause pain and discomfort. However, when they do, the pain will likely:
  • Worsen over days
  • Be different, ranging from sharp to dull pain
  • To be worse when standing or during physical activities
  • Decrease when you are sleeping or resting on your back
Varicoceles will often go unnoticed, but your physician may identify them during a medical check-up. Nevertheless, a person should immediately take medical advice if they notice:
  • A lump
  • Swelling in the scrotum
  • Veins that appear abnormal, such as large or twisted
  • Fertility problems
  • Any change in the size, shape, or appearance of the testes
Causes
One major cause of varicoceles could possibly be when the valves in the spermatic cords — which carry blood to and from the testicles — stops working correctly. The reason for this is not entirely known, but it is similar to what happens when varicose veins happen in the leg.

One-way valves in the veins should always function properly in order for the blood to reach the heart. Abnormal values can disrupt the blood flow. The buildup of blood results in the vessels to dilate. Just like any other organ, faulty values can eventually stop it from working correctly.

Varicoceles can be categorized as:
  • Shunt Type: Severe buildup of blood results in damage to the spermatic vein and other veins, thereby causing a larger, grade II or III varicocele.
  • Pressure Type: Buildup of blood in the spermatic vein results in grade I varicocele.
The left testicle is more likely to get affected due to the buildup of blood. Nevertheless, even if one side is affected by varicocele, this can impact sperm production on both sides.
Treatment

Varicoceles are often left untreated. Treatment is offered for people who experience:

  • Pain
  • Fertility issues
  • Abnormal semen analysis
  • The difference in the growth of both testicles

There are no synthetic medicines to treat or prevent varicoceles but the pain can be managed by pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen. If required, surgery is the main form of treatment. Another option to treat varicocele is Embolization, which is a non-surgical treatment method that involves briefly blocking the veins.

Grocare’s Ayurvedic Solution for Treating Varicocele

With its Varicocele kit, Grocare aims to help reduce inflammation of the veins in the scrotum, eliminate the toxins in the body, and finally regulate the body's pH. Made with the richness of natural herbs, Oronerv®, Activiz®, and Acidim® are natural ayurvedic medicines that work in harmony to regulate the blood flow and strengthen valves within the veins, thereby reducing inflammation in the veins of the scrotum.

Herbs such as Commiphora Mukul and Pluchea Lanceolata are mixed to make Oronerv®, which strengthens the valves and inner linings of the veins, thereby improving the blood flow. The product also repairs and synchronizes the neurovascular system with the body. The ingredients used to formulate this product possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce excess pressure in the valves and ultimately reduce the symptoms of varicocele.

Activiz® is another useful product in the Varicocele Kit that is marketed in the form of tablets (850g). The product acts as a catalyst to the healing process by improving and synergizing the internal systems. At the same time, it helps maintain a healthy sperm count.

Acidim® is another essential ayurvedic medicine in the kit that reduces the production of free radicals in the body as well as detoxifies the body, which helps in relieving the pressure in the valves and enables it to function correctly. Embellia Ribesis is an important constituent of this medicine that helps with increasing the blood flow throughout the body.

Together, Oronerv®, Activiz®, and Acidim® help in treating varicocele naturally over time.

Proper Dosage

Two tablets of Oronerv® should be taken twice a day (post breakfast and dinner), two tablets of Acidim® should be taken a day thrice (post breakfast, lunch & dinner), and two tablets of Activiz® should be taken twice daily (post breakfast and dinner), respectively. The tablets should be taken for 4-6 months or as prescribed by the doctor. If taken within the prescribed dosage, Oronerv®, Activiz®, and Acidim® do not cause any known side-effects.

In case of the occurrence of symptoms such as constipation, irregular bowel movement or acidity, Grocare India recommends patients to take a Xembran® tablet after breakfast and two tablets post-dinner. Individuals can see the benefits within a few weeks of the kit's usage, in the form of symptomatic relief. Results may vary depending on the severity of the condition, age, diet, and lifestyle. Patients are provided with a diet chart along with the Varicocele kit.

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