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Hi... I've had a varicocele in my left testicle for a number of years now. There's some degree of atrophy in the right testicle, I think (in the surrounding veins, not the testicle itself). I don't recall how old I was when the doctor told me that they were vericose veins, but I think I was 10-12. I'm currently 18. He said it was a common occurrence and didn't make a big deal out of it so I never really researched it, but I was NOT informed that it was an issue that causes progressive damage! Now, I haven't received any form of surgery, and I'm afraid that after this many years of affliction it has caused irreparable damage. This has not even been a monitored condition as of yet.

I REALLY don't want to be told at 18 that I wont be able to have kids ever.... I don't think I can take being infertile. Some of the side effects of surgery seem like they're just as bad, and with the odds of being fine after surgery at 50%, I don't think I'm lucky enough to win at that.

Can anyone give me an idea of how remaining untreated for the period of time I've been afflicted has affected my body long-term? Or how surgery would change things? Any helpful responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

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Hello- Dr. Darius Paduch at Cornell in NY has developed a micro-surgical
technique for testicular varicoceles- and repair can reverse/as well as
help to increase natural testosterone levels. He is probably the best
in the country for it- If you google his name - you will find his office and
articles regarding it
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Don't worry about it. Unless it is causing you a great deal of discomfort, I wouldn't interfere with it. Your right testicle is more than capable of producing sperm etc so infertility is unlikely to be an issue.
I am 12 years older than you and have a varicocele which I've had since I was 12-13 and aside from an occasional twinge its given me no problems.
If you are concerned, talk to your doctor.
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Hi. I am 24 years old. I was diagnosed with a bi-lateral (left and right) varicocele about 6 months ago and had the operation to repair it about 2 weeks ago. I have also had the varicocele for a number of years (probably since I was 11-12) I had it done laproscopically, which means the surgeon enters the abdominal region with minimal invasive optical and surgical tools to tie of the veins.

Regarding your statement about "being fine after surgery at 50%", this is not the case. The chances of a post-sugical complication (vapour forms around the testicle) is only 5%, and even if this occurs, it is also easily correctable. Also, fertility is improved in 75% of men who receive the operation.

After the procedure I am experiencing slight discomfort in my upper legs and a tenderness of the testicles, however, according to my urologist, this is completely normal and will disappear within 2-3 months.

An untreated varicocele is not life-threatening, however, it can lead to damage or complete atrophy of the testicles.

In light of the above, I would definitely recommend the procedure to anyone who has a varicocele of grade 3 or higher (Varicoceles are graded 1-5 based on the level of enlargement of the veins). Also having the procedure done could also improve your self-confidence, because nobody would like to have a "sack-of-worms" down there. It could also boost your testosterone levels, which would also be good.

It is also very important to get a 2nd and even 3rd opinion regarding which type of procedure to have (there are basically three different procedures). I got a second opinion and he doctor suggested a different approach. This approach was less invasive but more expensive. I had the procedure suggested by the second doctor. and I am very glad I went for a second opinion.
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Hi I am 15 and i probably have had this varicocele since i was 13, i finaly found the guts to go to the doctor to get it checked out. I have an appointment next week but i am very anxious and would like to know a few things

If i have had this for two years, do you think i am infertile, my right testicle seems fine and dandy, but the left testicle is smaller and has the varicocele.

Would you recommend the laproscopically done procedure?

Thanks
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Hi, I would not worry about any infertility. I had varicocele in my left testicle since a kid and had surgery shortly after turning 37. In the meantime I had a healthy kid at the age of 23 before my wife went back on the pill so that we don't have any more. The only reason I had the surgery is because my left nut was large and hanging with all the crumpled veins standing out. I was concious of it and I wanted both to look like the right testicle. The surgery was a success and they left testicle looks like the right one now. I am sure that I can have more kids if I wanted to, since I seem to be producing the same amount of sperm, but my wife is menopausal and we have no intention of having any more. I had the procedure done laproscopically as well and yes I do recommend it as it is non evasive. A small incision is made in your navel. Go for it!
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Recent research has demonstrated that even men who have varicoceles with normal sperm counts initially, over time their sperm shows significant deterioration, over and above that caused by normal ageing.

See a useful article here: *****

Apparently the testes are unable to regulate their heat, due to poor circulation (the varicocele means that the blood pools in the testes). This prolonged heightened temperature may be what causes the permanent damage, although researchers are still not 100% sure.

My hubby had a varicocele that he discovered about age 12, at the time he was told it wasn't a problem, there was no rush to fix it. Ten years later, he had the operation to fix it, and ten years on from that, he is still infertile. Having the operation done straight away may not have prevented that outcome, but then again, recent research is starting to show that early treatment is the way to go.

Get it seen to boys! Do your research, be assertive with your doctors. The cost of varicocele treatment is nothing compared to the cost of fertility treatments such as ICSI, trust me!!!

**edited by moderator** **web addresses are not allowed**
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I would say there is more of a problem to having a varicocele than just infertility. Many would disagree with me, because they don't look deep enough into the matter. I have a University Level Honours Education in Kinesiology and Health Sciences. I have been diagnosed with a grade 3 varicocele and I have also had some hormonal testing done which shows that my testosterone is in the low part of the "index range" (well below what it should be for my age) and more importantly my DHEA-S is BELOW the "index range" (therefore substantially low, and of great concern)
After days and hours of reading and researching, there seems to be a highly probably chance that a varicocele can lead to lowered male hormones, and can have an negatively impacting affect on the adrenal glands (not just directly at the testes like most professionals think), also effected are the HTPA and of course direct production of testosterone at the testes.
For these reasons i strongly urge those diagnosed with a varicocele to have full hormonal blood work done, including adrenal hormones. Find out if this also exists for you.
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Hi, im 15 and about a 2 months ago i noticed that one of my testicles was hanging lower than the other, then later i noticed the swelling described as like "a bag of worms" i was really terrified that it was testicular cancer. cause who wants to be that kid in high school with cancer, particularly testicular cancer. so today i got the guts to do some research and all the signs and symptoms point to a varicocele. i'm extremely relieved that i don't have cancer but im also stressed about this. as of about a week ago i've noticed a slight aching in my right testicle (the varicocele is in my left) and i think my left testicle might be a tiny bit smaller than the right. i think i also have this https://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Pimple_like_Bumps_on_Penis_and_Testicles_a554.html and have had it since i was about 12 and with that combined with this im pretty embarrassed about the state of my genitals. im too embarrassed to go to a doctor because im a minor and my mom would know about it. what should i do?? i considered not telling a doctor until im 18 but then i would be going through high school with this and im pretty sure a guy can't get laid with bumps on his gens and a "bag of worms" in his scrotum. also the aching feeling in my right testicle is getting annoying.

I'm stressed and a little scared and i don't know what to do. can somebody please give me some advice? It would be really helpful.
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i wish i had your courage. i'm 15 too and im too embarrassed to go see a doctor.
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Fellas,

PLEASE talk to your parents. There were things I dealt with as a 15 year old, that I wish now I had talked to my mom about. Now as a mother of two kids, I pray that they will talk to me when something is an issue. Please do not go through stuff like this without your parents. That is what they are there for!!!!!
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please talk to your parents. I am 20 and I just had the laproscopic approach where they cut through the abdominal to fix it, varicocele is not life threatening and the only thing it can lead to is fertility troubles if not treated, unless it is unsightly or causes pain its not something that youre gonna need surgery for but I had mine fixed just cuz im on my parents insurance and I am very self conciece about it. Its nothing to be ashamed of your parents want the best for you and im sure they will be cooperative, its only been about two weeks since my operation and i still have some swelling and the varicocele has gone down a little but it is still there, my doc says its all normal and it should go away within a few months so we'll see and ill be posting back whether i recommend this method or not for those of you that do want to pursue treatment...but my best advice is to not worry and to talk to your parents and get to a doctor quick not because its an emergency but so you can have a medical professional explain it to you and obtain some peace of mind, I know it can be stressful seeing a bag of veins down there, i thought i had testicular cancer at first but im extremely relieved that is not the case, you guys are in my prayers just remember God is watching over us all and he will help you if you have faith
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i have varicocel since about 10 years and have become a daddy 2 years ago. so i don't think infertility is my problem. hope this can keep you optimist
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go to the doctor. who cares if your mom knows? she gave birth to you and raised you. when i found my varicocele i went straight to my mom and let her check it out. and i was 17. she set me up an appointment with the uroligist(he confirmed that it was varicocele and not to be concerned). also,your mom wont know if you go to the doctor. just go up there by yourself as long as shes been there before. but be aware. if the doctor says its a big deal and you need medical attention,you will have to tell her. but as long as its no big deal,she never has to know.
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Oh man, my theory is that is result of abuse in the womb. Varicocele has been a problem since the 16th century yet people somehow still act ignorant about it and its devastating effects. It's good to hear young people concerned about the issue, when I was your age there was no internet to figure out the truth. The question is: "What are your parents doing about it while you're under their care?" Chances are, if they're ignoring it they're doing it deliberately. My varicocele caused me to lose my dream of playing sports (because it lowered my testosterone and prevented my "nuts" from fully forming). I hate my parents for being "blissfully ignorant" as they laughed while my dreams went by because they knew they caused it. I had an undescended testicle (probably from abuse in the womb) when I was born and they did nothing. Then we were all told I had a variocele when I was older, and still nothing was done. Whenever I showed any promise they laughed at the people who said so because they knew what they had done to me to so severely hurt me.
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