One of the primary causes contributing to the male infertility is due to an internal plumbing condition called a varicocele. Varicocele is a condition in where a group or bundle of enlarged veins make their way from the testicles into the abdomen as a result of low blood flow. The role of these veins is to lower the temperature in the scrotum area by pumping the blood out. As a result of the low blood flow, the swollen veins rise the temperature insides the testicles which reduces the sperm count and quality.
What causes varicoceles?
Varicoceles are a similar category of varicose veins which is commonly found on legs and thighs as a result of poor blood circulation. The blood supply has to carry out through veins, when they don’t pump blood they tend to stretch. While the main reason for varicose veins seems unexplained but lets see some of the main reasons:
Routing of pipes
Internally the veins are not symmetric. The left-testicular veins run into the renal vein and vice versa. Hence there is more pressure on left side tending to have left side varicoceles.
In poor valving, there is only one-way which stops the blood from flowing backward. When the valves do not function properly, there is a probability that the veins might get stretched due to the excess blood flow.
Varicocele is a combination of the above explain factors:
How do varicoceles impact fertility
Due to the reduced blood supply, its often linked with poor sperm quality and varicoceles in men. Some of the impacts include deteriorating sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. According to some studies, experts conclude that varicoceles also leads to decreased sperm functioning, which implies that a sperm having all the parameters yet cannot be able to fertilize an egg. The reason remains unclear yet some of the reasons include:
The role of veins is to lower the temperature of the scrotum few degrees less than the rest of the body temperature for the normal and healthy sperm production. When the vein functioning is disturbed the excess heat is not absorbed and the scrotal temperature increases.
2. Venous pressure
Varicoceles tend to increase the blood pressure in the veins. As a result of the increased pressure inside the testicles leading to less vascular drainage which tends to gather toxins.
3. Hormone imbalance
According to experts, studies have related varicoceles to lower levels of testosterone which affects the testosterone production.
4. Reactive oxygen species
The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is very important for the healthy sperm functioning. Yet high levels of ROS affects the sperm motility and morphology. High ROS levels could also lead to varicoceles in men.
The treatment for varicoceles is known as varicocele ligation, which is also referred to as varicocelectomy. It is a daytime procedure where local anesthesia is given and a small incision is done on the lower part of the abdomen and the vein which obstructs is cut. Minimal rest is needed and the individual can be discharged within few hours after the surgery.
Sounds like embolization. It is an effective approach in varicose veins. Ultrasound imaging is used to insert a needle into the area of the varicocele. The primary complication of sclerotherapy is the negative reaction given by the sclerosing agent used. Also, there are chances of blood clots and swelling of veins.