A varicocele is a collection of dilated veins within the scrotum that look like varicose veins. It lessens a man's fertility by producing a slightly higher temperature in the testicles. A varicocele occurs in about 15 percent of all men and accounts for as much as 40 percent of male infertility problems.

Varicoceles are treated surgically. The most common type of procedure is microsurgery, which is done on an outpatient basis under spinal anesthesia. The enlarged veins are repaired surgically, and regular blood flow is restored to improve sperm quality. Some physicians also prescribe fertility medications, such as Clomid, after the surgery to stimulate sperm production. The success rate of the surgery varies, but approximately 80 percent of men have an increased sperm count following this surgery.

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