Following are the common questions about Varicocele:
- Why does varicocele occur?
- What are the signs you should consult a urologist?
- Is varicocele life-threatening?
- Can varicocele go on its own?
- What should I avoid if I have varicocele?
- Can varicocele affect fertility?
- Can varicocele be left untreated?
- What are the diet restrictions if I have varicocele?
- What are the diagnostic tests for varicocele?
- What is the most effective treatment for varicocele?
- How long does it take to recover from varicocele treatment?
- Do all varicoceles require treatment?
- When will I be able to return to work after Varicocelectomy?
- Can exercise cure varicocele?
- Why is varicocele more common on the left side?
Q. Why does varicocele occur?
A. Varicocele can occur anytime despite the age, but most commonly, it occurs in teenagers and young boys. The reason for varicocele occurrence may vary from one person to another. However, varicocele generally occurs when the veins become dilated, or the wall of veins becomes weak that blood starts to pool in, and the veins get varicosed. At times, the valves in the veins get damaged, causing irregular blood flow in the vein and resulting in painful varicocele symptoms.
Q. What are the signs you should consult a urologist?
A. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, it is advisable to consult a urologist. The doctor will thoroughly conduct a diagnosis to initiate the most effective treatment to cure the disease rather than wait for it to worsen. A few of the signs that you should get in touch with a urologist are:
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain in the pelvis area
- If the flow of the urine is weak
- Pain while passing the urine
- Leakage of urine
- Blood in the urine
- Frequent urge to pass the urine
- Lump in the scrotum
- Tenderness in the testicles
- Trouble keeping an erection
- Swelling around the genital area
Q. Is varicocele life-threatening?
A. No, varicocele is not life-threatening or dangerous. However, it is advisable to consult the urologist if you experience any odd symptoms in the genital area. The symptoms of varicocele could be painful and discomforting, affecting the quality of life. In addition, there is a possibility that varicocele may hinder your daily activities like exercising, walking, or indulging in sexual interaction if the scrotum area is tender.
Q. Can varicocele go on its own?
A. No. Varicocele can not go on its own once occurred. It usually occurs in teenage boys around the left testicle. It is a better option if you seek medical advice for varicocele. The doctor will perform the physical examination while touching the affected area to evaluate the severity of the condition. After a thorough diagnosis depending on the complexity, the urologist will advise the best treatment to cure varicocele.
Q. What should I avoid if I have varicocele?
A. There are certain things you should avoid if you are suffering from varicocele to keep it from progressing into worse:
- Do not wear tight fit clothes
- Prevent the affected are from any possibility of trauma
- Do not wear supporter it may cause discomfort
- Do not indulge in sexual activity if you have large varicocele
Q. Can varicocele affect fertility?
A. Yes. Varicocele can affect fertility in males. Infertility usually happens when the varicocele becomes enlarged and starts putting pressure on the spermatic cord resulting in a low count of sperm. At times, due to varicocele, the quality of sperm also gets degraded. In addition, the symptoms of varicocele can be painful and may lead to erectile dysfunction in rare cases.
Q. Can varicocele be left untreated?
A. It is always a better option to consult a urologist for varicocele. If left untreated, it can lead to certain complications that may affect the quality of life, such as infertility, trouble keeping an erection, erectile dysfunction, decreased sperm quality, and low sperm count.
Q. What are the diet restrictions if I have varicocele?
A. There are a few dietary restrictions if you have varicocele. Food items that are not in high fiber are usually recommended to avoid. There are some foods that may help you during varicocele from progressing:
- Whole grain bread
- Low-fat milk
- Dark green vegetables
Q. What are the diagnostic tests for varicocele?
A. The urologist will conduct a physical examination to evaluate the varicocele. During the examination, the doctor will touch the affected area to check the tenderness and swelling in the scrotum. The specialist may also recommend a few diagnostic tests to detect the severity of varicocele:
- Scrotal ultrasound
- Valsalva maneuver
- Semen test
- Urine culture
- Blood test
Q. What is the most effective treatment for varicocele?
A. The most effective treatment for varicocele is microscopic varicocelectomy. It has a faster recovery duration and is less painful as compared to other conventional methods. However, the doctor determines the suited treatment after diagnosing the severity of varicocele. The treatments that are generally used to treat varicocele are:
- Varicocele embolization
- Open surgery
- Laparoscopic varicocelectomy
- Microscopic varicocelectomy
Q. How long does it take to recover from varicocele treatment?
A. Generally, a person can resume a regular routine within two to three days. However, the complete recovery may take three weeks. There are several factors due to which the recovery duration post varicocelectomy may vary from one person to another, such as:
- The type of treatment one has undergone
- The age of the patient
- The healing capability of an individual
- How well do you take care of yourself post-treatment?
Q. Do all varicoceles require treatment?
A. No. The severity of the varicocele may differ from one patient to another. In some cases, when varicocele is minor, it generally does not bother one’s life productivity. However, in other cases, when the varicocele is larger and symptomatic such as pain, swelling, discoloration, or infertility issue. Such varicoceles require medical attention and proper treatment to enhance the quality of life.
Q. When will I be able to return to work after Varicocelectomy?
A. Usually, an individual can resume work within 2-3 days post varicocelectomy. However, it also depends on the type of profession you are into. It is always advisable to consult your doctor about resuming work post-treatment. There are a few tips that help you post varicocele treatment:
- Do not walk faster post varicocele surgery
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Eat fiber-rich food to avoid constipation
Q. Can exercise cure varicocele?
A. No. According to the experts, exercising during varicocele can aggravate the symptoms and result in more pain and swelling. However, doing basic yoga asanas such as vajrasana, dhanurasana, or shavasana, and kegel exercises can also enhance muscle tone, restore blood circulation, and help in relieving the symptoms of varicocele.
Q. Why is varicocele more common on the left side?
A. The occurrence of varicocele is more common on the left side than the other side due to the body's anatomy. The blood flow in the scrotum is more on the left side, corresponding to the right side. This makes the left side more prone to developing varicocele. Varicocele commonly occurs when the male is in his puberty age because the blood flow is higher during these years as compared to other age limits.