Does varicocele cause infertility and impotence?

Expert answer:

Yes, varicocele can cause infertility and impotence. In the case of infertility (inability to raise children), varicocele may change the production of spermatozoids and make man infertile.

Already in impotence (inability or difficulty to have an erection), varicocele is considered an indirect cause of the problem. The affected testicle reduces significantly in size and there is a decrease in hormone production testosterone, leading to a decreased sex drive which affects male sexual performance as a whole.

However, it is important to remember that despite the relationship between varicocele and infertility, 70% of men with varicocele are fertile.

Why does varicocele cause infertility?

It is not yet known exactly why varicocele leads to infertility. The most accepted hypotheses are as follows:

  • Increased testicular temperature caused by stagnant blood in the site, which may alter the function of the cells that give rise to spermatozoa;
  • This same blood stagnation can also cause a swelling that diminishes the arrival of oxygen to the testicle, thus damaging the testicular tissue;
  • Reflux of blood from the kidneys to the testicles, which can bring metabolic renal and adrenal glands into the testicle, harming the production of sperm.

Varicocele has healing is your treatment is surgical. For more information, consult a urologist.

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