What is varicocele?
A varicocele is a collection of swollen veins in the scrotum. It is usually next to and above one or both of the testicles. However, in majority of cases it develops on the left side.
Any man can be affected. Varicocele is a common condition. Some overseas studies showed that varicocele is present in 15% of the male population. Varicocele tends to occur in young men between puberty and the age of 35. Varicocele can be harmless, but it may also lead to testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems.
What causes it?
In most men, the reason is unknown. One possible mechanism is that the valve of the veins in the scrotum becomes defective. This results in blood pooling in the vein. Inefficient blood flow causes the veins to enlarge and form a varicocele. Varicocele can also result from a tumor blocking the spermatic vein.