What is the link between varicocele and infertility?

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varicocele and infertility

Many men in Ahmedabad have infertility due to varicocele. Most men opt for IVF to solve infertility, so they visit an IVF centre in Ahmedabad. Are you having varicocele-linked infertility as well?

In this article, you will learn more about whether a varicocele affects fertility and when you should see a specialist.

Men have enlarged veins in the scrotum, which is the pouch that holds the testicles. Specialists call such veins varicoceles. Several men with varicoceles have no signs; however, it may affect their fertility.

Let us begin by understanding what varicoceles is.

What is a varicocele?

A varicocele happens when a bulge forms due to the enlarged veins inside your scrotum. The swelling resembles a colored enlargement over your testicle.

A pampiniform plexus is a vein group within your scrotum. Such veins help cool your blood before moving to your testicular artery, which provides the testicles with blood.

If the testicles are hot, they cannot produce healthy sperm. Sperm health impacts fertility, so it is essential that the veins can cool down your blood.

Most men with a varicocele do not have signs, yet you might have fertility problems.

If you have a varicocele, you might also face tenderness and swelling of the scrotum.

Now let us move on to the main question.

Do varicoceles cause infertility?

varicoceles cause infertility

In some cases, males who have varicoceles do not have fertility issues. However, infertility rates among men with varicoceles are more than those without them. This difference may be due to varicoceles interfering with your body’s ability to create and store sperm.

The main concern with varicoceles is that your vein’s bulge may lower sperm count and damage sperm. If you have an average or low sperm count, a varicocele is likely to bring infertility.

If your partner cannot get pregnant, it is essential to do various tests involving a sperm count. 

Causes and risk factors

Each of your veins has a valve that stops blood from flowing backwards, yet sometimes the valve fails. This makes your blood flow back, damaging your vein and cause swelling.

Specialists do not completely understand what causes your valves to fail and cause varicoceles. They are common and do not often mean that you have an underlying health issue.

A study found that smoking may be a risk factor for varicoceles, damaging your blood vessels. The same research found no connection between occupation or alcohol and varicoceles.

Rarely, growth in the stomach can apply pressure on your veins, causing a varicocele. This problem is more common in males of more than forty-five years of age.

In several men, a varicocele has no apparent reason. So, it necessary you visit an infertility specialist or IVF doctor in Ahmedabad to find out the exact cause of this condition.

Treatment for varicocele-related infertility

if you have a low sperm count and varicoceles, you may require treatment. However, even after treatment, most men continue to have varicocele-related infertility. In such cases, it is best to visit an infertility clinic to understand IVF and learn about the IVF cost in Ahmedabad.

Remember, varicoceles that do not cause any symptoms do not need treatment. A varicocele may require treatment when:

  • You have low sperm count and varicocele or other issues with sperm.
  • The varicocele is causing swelling or pain.
  • If you and your partner have unexplained infertility, and the man has a varicocele.

If you chose to have treatment, you usually have three options:


Embolization is a procedure that temporarily cuts off your blood supply. A specialist can carry out this surgery in their office with local anaesthesia, meaning you will not feel any pain in the area.

You may face some tenderness and pain after the surgery, yet recovery time is short, and you can return to your usual routine.

If embolization does not work, specialists may have to try a different surgery to treat the varicocele.


Your surgeon blocks the blood flow to your damaged vein to surgically remove a varicocele. This procedure is known as a varicocelectomy.

You will get a general anesthetic before the varicocelectomy. However, you might face some tenderness and pain for some days afterward.

IVF treatment

Most men with varicocele can attain fatherhood through IVF treatment. IVF is a procedure in which mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Your sperms will be retrieved by an IVF specialist and combined with the eggs in a lab. The resulting embryo will be transferred to the women’s uterus.

Since varicocele causes low sperm count opting for IVF is the best way if you do not want to go for surgery. It is also the best option if you continue to have infertility after surgery.


If you have a varicocele, you must speak with your doctor about the risks and treatments. In most cases, surgery may be the best choice for increasing fertility. In other circumstances, you or your partner may have good results with assisted fertilization techniques, like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

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