Varicocele Embolization

Last Updated: April 12, 2017

Definition - What does Varicocele Embolization mean?

Varicocele embolization is a non-surgical procedure used to treat the abnormal swelling of testicular veins. Varicoceles can cause shrinkage of the testicles, low quality sperm, and male infertility; to treat this, doctors insert metal coils or clips into the veins to reduce their supply of blood, thereby reducing the swelling and treating the disorder.

FertilitySmarts explains Varicocele Embolization

A varicocele is the pathological swelling of the testicular veins located in the spermatic cord. While some men will have no symptoms, some might notice a dull aching pain in the testicles relieved by lying down, or that one testis is considerably larger than the other and feels like “a bag of worms.”

These veins normally drain oxygen-depleted blood from the testicles and help cool the oxygen rich blood flowing into them. In situations where the testicular veins are not properly drained, the stagnation of blood within the vessels lead to what’s known as varicoceles.

The pooling of blood causes a reduction of oxygenated blood and increases the temperature within the testicles leading to shrinking and reduction in the quantity and quality of the sperm produced. Over time, this causes male infertility.

Varicocele embolization is one of the treatments for varicoceles. In this procedure, doctors block the veins that supply the testicular vein, thereby reducing the amount of blood flow to it. This procedure has been noted to have significant success judged by the post procedure fertility rates.

Share this: