Varicoceles may occur if a malfunction of the valves of the testicular vein causes blood to pool and enlarges the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds the testicles. The pooling of blood affects the circulation in the testes, changing the temperature and affecting the microenvironment of the testes. As a result, decreased sperm count, decreased motility and poor morphology may occur. Approximately 15% of the general population have varicoceles.
Varicocelectomy involves a small microsurgical procedure in which swollen veins are tied off while preserving the normal blood vessels.