30 January, 2019

Varicocele and Male Infertility: Know more

A varicocele is an enlarged vein in the scrotum and testicle, usually found on the left side, but possibly found on both sides of the scrotum, and very rarely only the right side. Varicoceles are relatively common, occurring in up to 15% of men. They are the leading cause of male infertility, found in 40% of men with low sperm counts. Varicoceles are treatable, as long as other fertility problems aren’t present for the male or female partner.

Symptoms of Varicocele

Many people are unaware of a varicocele until they experience fertility issues. Doctors usually conduct an abnormal semen analysis, followed by a physical exam to determine varicocele. Some men may experience signs or symptoms besides infertility. These may include:

  • A dull ache or feeling of heaviness in the testicle, especially after exercise
  • A swelling or mass in the scrotum, sometimes described as feeling like a bag of noodles
  • One testicle noticeably smaller than the other


A varicocele can be diagnosed during a physical exam. If a varicocele is present, it will be visible when the urologist asks you to stand up and bare down. It disappears when you are in a horizontal position. It is possible to have a varicocele that isn’t noticeable during a physical exam and only discovered with the use of ultrasound. However, a varicocele of this size is usually left untreated, as research has not found an association to infertility in these cases.

Varicocele and Infertility

The presence of a varicocele has been associated with lowered sperm count, an increase in DNA damaged sperm, poor sperm morphology (or shape), and poor sperm movement. It isn’t clear why varicoceles causes infertility, but there are some theories. The most popular theory is that the pooled blood raises the overall temperature in the scrotum and testicles. Increased scrotal heat can be damaging to sperm.

It is also believed that poor circulation leads to increased levels of toxins, which in turn leads to poor semen health. Some people also suggest the increased scrotal pressure harms semen health.


Treatment of varicocele depends on its size. Whether it causes you pain, there are additional fertility factors at play, and what you and your partner’s recommended fertility treatment plan looks like.

Varicocele treatment options include:

  • Microsurgical varicocelectomy – A highly skilled surgery, performed inguinal, or sublinguinal, using a microscope to aid in the repair. This surgical technique has the fewest risks and the shortest recovery time, making it the surgical treatment of choice.
  • Laparoscopic varicocelectomy – A surgery where repair is done via the abdomen. Due to the increased risk and longer recovery time, this technique is rarely chosen.
  • Percutaneous embolization treatment – A non-surgical technique with fewer risks and pain than either of the above surgical treatments. It involves a radiologist injecting into the problem vein small coils or alcohol to block the vein that is causing the trouble.

Success rates will vary from person to person, but research has found improvement in semen health in more than two-thirds of patients. Also, 30 to 50% of couples will be able to achieve pregnancy naturally after surgery.

All treatments for varicocele carry some degree of risk. Our doctors at KIMS Cuddles will be able to help you with information on risks, success rates, and recovery times.

*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.


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01 February, 2018

7 Fertility mistakes every couple makes

When trying to conceive for the first time, couples often make certain mistakes that delay conception. Here are 7 common fertility mistakes every couple makes and ways to improve your chances to get pregnant: Timing Typically, women have a 28-day cycle, which means ovulation generally happens around day 14. However, it isn’t guaranteed that every woman goes through the same. Individual cycles vary and you may have one that’s shorter or longer. In order to figure out the exact date of your ovulation, you can count back 14 days from the day you started your period. Seeing an expert to soon Most women under 35 take up to a year to get pregnant. If you’re feeling frustrated after trying for 6 or 7 months, and don’t have any underlying health problem, it is better to wait it out. Almost 80% of healthy couples get pregnant within a year. If you’re over 35, see an expert after six months of trying. Waiting too long to see an expert Sometimes, there are exceptions to the one-year-wait rule. If your cycle is shorter than 25 days or longer than 35 days, if your periods are painful or heavy, or you’ve experienced a pelvic infection in the past, see a doctor sooner to get everything checked.
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15 February, 2018

5 Ways your Home may be causing your infertility

Sometimes, despite having no apparent health problems, you may find yourself dealing with infertility. It may be worthwhile to take a closer look at certain external factors that may be the reason behind your inability to conceive. One of them is the home you live in. Here are 5 things in your home that may be the reason behind your infertility: Soaps Antibacterial soap may be expert at eliminating germs, but it may also have an effect on your chances of conceiving. Apart from these, certain shampoos, dishwashing liquids, and certain toothpaste may contain triclosan – a chemical linked to the endocrine disruption that may play havoc with your hormones and interfere with your reproductive system. In men, triclosan can reduce sperm count. Make sure your household soaps are free from this substance. Canned Goods Hard plastics and those used to make microwave-safe food containers and water bottles may contain a chemical known as BPA or bisphenol A. It can also be found in the linings of aluminum cans. According to research, high levels of BPA in men’s urine can lower their sperm count. Even in women, those with twice as much BPA in their bloodstream had half as many viable eggs. Research has shown a link between BPA levels and polycystic ovary syndrome. Avoid
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19 February, 2018

5 Facts about smoking and infertility

Smoking is injurious to your health. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall well-being. If you’re a smoker, you probably know that it can affect your fertility. In order to improve your chances of conceiving, it is important to quit smoking. Here are 5 facts about smoking and infertility that you should know: Smoking can cause infertility Those who smoke are more likely to have fertility problems than non-smokers. If you’ve been smoking for many years or smoke many cigarettes per day, you are at an increased risk for fertility problems. Smoking spreads more than 7000 chemicals throughout your entire body and organs. This can cause fertility problems, such as : Problems with ovulation Genetic problems Damage to your reproductive organs Damage to eggs or premature menopause Increased risk of cancer and miscarriage When smokers take fertility treatments, they tend to take longer to get pregnant. They are also likely to give birth to babies with health problems. Secondhand smoke can affect your fertility If your partner is a smoker and you’re trying to get pregnant, encourage them to stop smoking. Secondhand smoke may expose you to toxic chemicals that affect your fertility. Experts say that secondhand smoke is as damaging to your fertility as smoking
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