The spermatic cord is a bundle of nerves, arteries, and veins that runs from the abdomen through the inguinal canal and into the scrotum. The veins in the cord are responsible for transporting blood from the testicles back to the heart. When these veins become enlarged, it’s known as varicocele.
Varicocele can have several implications for both men’s health and fertility. In terms of health, varicocele can often lead to pain and discomfort. Sometimes, it can also create a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or a dull ache that radiates from the testicles to the lower abdomen or groin area.
In terms of fertility, varicocele can often lead to diminished sperm quality or quantity because when the veins in the spermatic cord become enlarged, they can overheat the testicles and damage sperm production. As a result, men with varicocele often have a lower sperm count than those without the condition. They may also have abnormally shaped sperm or sperm that isn’t able to swim as well as it should.