Varicocoele is an abnormal enlargement of veins leading away from the testicles caused by the backflow of blood. Varicocoele’s are usually harmless, sometimes with few or no symptoms, but in moderate to severe cases they have been associated with male infertility. It is estimated that up to 20% of men will have a varicocoele but in men with fertility problems, this increases to 40%.
Due to stagnation of blood flow, there is a reduction in supply of oxygenated blood and nutrient material to the sperm production sites. This reduces the quality and the quantity of the sperms, leading to reduction in their fertility capacity. It is well known that the detrimental effect of varicocele on sperm production is progressive and increases with time.
Varicocele, whose association with male infertility has been clearly documented, is a common finding in adult men, being diagnosed in 20-40% of infertile patients. A correct and early diagnosis of this condition is of great importance because, in most cases, a timely correction leads to an improvement in semen quality.