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Varicocele and Testosterone
 

JN7844
Level 5

Join date: Feb 2008
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 525

xiiman wrote:
Alright guys, I'll be getting my varicocele embolization done this Friday! I'll be sure to post my experiences after.



Pics or it didn't happen. I kid...

Good luck.

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XwrasKEL
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Join date: May 2008
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Posts: 6

I too have a varicocele on the left side. I will be talking with my primary care physician here soon to see what he has to say. I will be sure to let you know what his two cents are. In all honesty I wouldn't mind having mine taken care of...usually for me it is a dull pain on both sides of my groin right where my legs meet my hips. Always the worst after a rough leg day.

good luck with everything xiiman !

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MagB
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Join date: Aug 2010
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Hey Guys,

Just giving my input as I feel it may be of interest to anyone information gathering about the whole varicocele, testosterone subject.

I'm a 26 yr old medical student. I've had a varicocele in my left nut since my early teens. I always thought it was normal and that my right nut was the abnormal one. Anyway i realise i have one now, but have yet to be diagnosed by a 'professional'. It's usually not palpable in the morning but is after a hot shower, weights or at the end of the day. When it's there it's pretty obvious and you can also see the lump without touching. Its never painful. I think i may get some mild discomfort but years of it has probably desensitized me to it.

Things of interest to me...

1. I have little to no facial hair despite having two older bros who were hairy at my age
2. I also have no body hair and armpit hair is scant (pubic hair seems ok)
3. I can safely say that my balls and tackle are on the small side (poor me)

4. Looking at my history of mood, libido etc i could say that they fitted with a picture of low T however there are so many variables i don't want to jump to any conclusions here

5. Because i knew varicocele was common and often harmless i decided to go for a 'semen analysis' and 'testosterone' privately
Results were a T within the lower half of the normal range (but normal) = 16 nmol/L
I'm not convinced this tells me that much. I reckon if you're worried about testicular function you may be better off getting a semen analysis.

Anyway my semen came back as low sperm count and an increased number of abnormal sperm. My sperm count was 15 million/ml. <20 million/ml is considered low sperm count. I've read that average is 60 million/ml.

Anyway i'd be really interested on your views on this? Is there anyone else who has experienced lack of facial hair with varicocele?

I'm getting a second semen analysis result tomorrow. I was scoffed at by my GP. She refused to refer me to a urologist. I don't really fancy getting scoffed at all along the NHS journey. It's a tricky one when you've got something non-lifethreatening and common. If you feel scoffed at too, don't worry. I can assure you that the GP i saw knew absolutely nothing about varicoceles. She told me there were no treatments, didn't even palpate my balls etc etc.

Good luck friends

MagB

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absolute3
Level 100

Join date: Mar 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 290

I had a 400mL hydrocele (varicocele, but with water instead of blood) removed from the left side of my scrotum this summer and I was back to squatting in a week. I don't know how much different recovery is for embolization of a varicocele, but if you're young it shouldn't be any longer than 2 weeks.

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Tancredi
Level 3

Join date: Sep 2009
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 59

MagB wrote:


Anyway i'd be really interested on your views on this? Is there anyone else who has experienced lack of facial hair with varicocele?


MagB



Hey

I also have a variocele in my left nut since forever too, but I was capable of growing a full beard before I was 14. And I'm real hairy everywhere on my body.

Hope this helps a little

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Nidhogg
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I think its important to check out FSH/LH levels before anyone decides to do surgery in regards of testosterone levels. If they are normal then there is no reason to proceed with surgery unless you have pain. If they are high on the other hand it means that the body is sending out signals to produce testosterone but your testicles will fail to do so due to atrophy/poor blood flow. The body knows whats best for it, it will not settle for anything but optimal unless forced to. Just my 2 cents

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MagB
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Join date: Aug 2010
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For anyone interested...

Had my varicocele embolized this morning. Went in via the neck and put in 4 coils. Started 9am and out of the hospital by 11.30am. Overall pretty painless and no sedation was used.

I've had a couple of urology appointments since my first post. I was asking about guys who've noticed lack of facial hair with varicocele. No urologists were aware of this link. There are quite a few studies showing improvement in testosterone levels after varicocelectomy.

Anyway, i've got my fingers crossed that the varicocele will be gone. I'll update in about 6 months and say if there's any change on the facial hair front. As well as semen results and testosterone if i can get them done.

Here are some additional findings i had...
Diagnosed with grade III varicocele on Left
2 abnormal semen assessments
Total testosterone 16 nmol/L then a repeat showed 19.8 nmol/L (normal range 9.9 - 27.8)
LH 2.1 iu/L (normal range 1 - 9)
FSH 3.2 iu/L (normal range 1 - 10)
Prolactin 92 mU/L (normal range 86 - 324)
Testicle size on right: 9.5cc (normal is very variable but supposedly 12 - 24cc)
Testicle size on left: 10.5 (doesn't necessarily tie with a picture of varicocele-induced atrophy: L>R)

Can't be sure if my varicocele was causing problems or not. Based on my lack of secondary sexual characterisics, abnormal semen, slightly small testicles and general fear i decided to get it done.

If you have one too, good luck with everything. Mine caused me a lot of anxiety. They're common and don't always cause damage. Can't wait to get squatting again!

Mag

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Robert Paulson
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Join date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 76

If anyone's still reading this thread, anyone out there ever experience a varicocele without the testicular shrinking on the affected teste?

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Erasmus
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2008
Location: Holland
Posts: 632

Robert Paulson wrote:
If anyone's still reading this thread, anyone out there ever experience a varicocele without the testicular shrinking on the affected teste?


I've got a varicocele on the left side without symptoms.
The testicular volume hasn't decreased much, almost as big as the right one.

I haven't found any decrease in energy (workout or daily life) or libido.
After I got the diagnosis I started taking extra omega 3-6-9, ZMA (zinc assists T-production).







A new concept in the understanding of varicocele-damage is that it may be caused by extra oxidative stress because of the higher temperature.
A logical consequence would be to supplement with extra anti-oxidants like vitamin C,... I really don't know if it would help but I'm looking into the evidence or plausability.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...dative%20stress

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Robert Paulson
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Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 76

i've got a varicocele on the left side without symptoms.
The testicular volume hasn't decreased much, almost as big as the right one.






I haven't found any decrease in energy (workout or daily life) or libido.
After I got the diagnosis I started taking extra omega 3-6-9, ZMA (zinc assists T-production).

A new concept in the understanding of varicocele-damage is that it may be caused by extra oxidative stress because of the higher temperature.
A logical consequence would be to supplement with extra anti-oxidants like vitamin C,... I really don't know if it would help but I'm looking into the evidence or plausability.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...dative%20stress


Thanks for the reply Erasmus. When you say you lack symptoms does that mean your T levels are normal as well? (normal in the sense meaning optimal range for your age, rather than Dr's idea of normal)

It's weird I seem to have a varicocele (not yet diagnosed by Dr) on the left side as is common, but the left testicle is significantly larger than the right. However, there may be other factors at play as I came to this realization while researching TRT due to low T levels

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paulieserafini
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lol another thread that makes me question life. haha.


so upon reading this i felt my left testicle and after reading google i suspect i have this, but i dont think i suffer from low t atleast it doesn't seem like it, i dont have trouble gaining muscle atleast. Dull ache pains every now and again and very pronounced Veins deflating upon laying down is about it, either way in a week or two im going to the doctor to get it looked at just in case.

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eightohfive
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Join date: Sep 2011
Location: California, USA
Posts: 497

Got my nut smashed on a safety blitz my senior year of high school... swelled up the size of a tennis ball! now i've got a nice bit of extra "skin" from where the blood pooled surrounding my left testicle, and vas defrens "pump" to a noticeably larger circumference than on the right.. love sex, bust my ass in the gym, no hair nowhere! haha, i'm not tripping about it, although i should probably get it checked out.

i'd have to say that the body does in fact do a good job of returning to homeostasis, my right testicle is probably a work horse. I'd venture to say this thread is a hypochondriacs nightmare.

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Erasmus
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Join date: Aug 2008
Location: Holland
Posts: 632

Robert Paulson wrote:
Thanks for the reply Erasmus. When you say you lack symptoms does that mean your T levels are normal as well? (normal in the sense meaning optimal range for your age, rather than Dr's idea of normal)

It's weird I seem to have a varicocele (not yet diagnosed by Dr) on the left side as is common, but the left testicle is significantly larger than the right. However, there may be other factors at play as I came to this realization while researching TRT due to low T levels


I think that my lack of symptoms mean that my T levels are within my normal range for me.
I still get morning wood every morning and spontaneous erections during the day (I'm 21).

I would get your varicocele checked out at your family doc, just so he knows about it so you can maybe ask for a referral later on.
The weird thing is that instead of shrinking (even just a little), your left testicle has swollen, is that correct? Or is the volume in the left scrotum just larger because of the varicose veins + your testicle. Anyway if I was you I would to go to your doc and get it checked out, even if the result would be: "Jep, you've got one, come and see me again when there is any change."

Hope it helps!

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qsar
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Join date: Nov 2011
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Posts: 172

I had a varicocele on my left nut. Tested low on sperm count and had an unusual T cycle so I had it fixed, but my sperm count and T levels did not change after recovering from it.

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Robert Paulson
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Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 76

Thanks for the feedback guys,

Erasmus > the lefty didn't actually swell at any point, but has always been somewhat larger than the right - I think, as you guessed, largely due to the additional volume of the vessels. Will be getting this checked out along w/ other things when I see a decent Doc which I think I may have finally located.

qsar > I've heard that results on low T issues from varicocele removal can be a mixed bag. It's unfortunate you saw no improvement - did you end up taking other measures to improve your T levels?

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paulieserafini
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got an unltrasound yesterday, i definitely have a varicocele in my left testicle. Tomorrow i go to a uro to see whats up.

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mr_intensity
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Join date: May 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1

Here is a message to those who have varicocele. If you choose to get it treated go for microsurgery. The reason docs are not keen to operate on varicocele is because the traditional techniques have a high rate of failure. But microsurgery, which is a new technique, has a high success rate and a very low risk of complications. Any other surgical approach (may be called ligation or varicocelectomy) is dangerous because of a definite risk of seriously injuring the testicle - don't risk it! Embolization is a non surgical option that has a very low risk of serious complications but a significant rate of not actually working.

My story: I had a grade three varicocele on the left side since forever but my nuts were fine. Nevertheless it was really noticeable so I decided to get it fixed and had ligation. I was a happy man to see I had normal looking nuts and promptly forgot all about my nuts which is the way it should be. But after five months the varicocele returned, the same. It still did not cause problems but I eventually decided to see about getting it fixed again. I was referred to a surgeon who did what he called a varicocelectomy which was a butcher's job going in through the scrotum and after the surgery my scrotum filled with blood. The surgeon insisted it would be fine but a second opinion found via ultrasound that the tesicle was dying. Now, two years later, my testicle is one quarter of its original size. And, to top it all off, it turns out the other testicle had a little varicocele all along which has now grown and produces a constant slight ache. I had testosterone tests and my levels are half what they were before. I am going to get a fertility test next and am quite scared about it. The docs just don't want to know me. Now could someone please wake me up from this nightmare? Anyway be extremely wary of any surgery and don't take any risk whatsoever with your nuts. Not even 0.5% risk.

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cerote
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Join date: Oct 2006
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Posts: 60

I too have a varicosele on my left nut. I went to the urologist a few months ago with pain in the left nut, the pain was not too bad but i was worried about the varicosele cause at that time i didn't know what they were.

The pain went away so i never came back for an ultrasound, but now i am worried about this cause my left nut is too small compared with the right and i have symptoms of low testosterone. I always can grow beard and body hair without any problem, but my progress in the gym sucks compared with my efforts. I have lack of motivation, assertiveness, tired a lot and the sex drive is low.

I will go back to the urologist in a couple of weeks, can't go soon; my dad will have a surgery in a couple of days and i need to be able to help him.

Thanks to all for the information. Please dudes with this problem or related experiences keep posting and updating.

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Jimmy0123
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Hello people I signed up strictly to reply to this post because I too have a Varicocele on my left testicle. I am 16 and have had a Varicocele for about 3 years I believe. When I found out that I had this I didn't pay much mind to it since it wasn't bothering me at the time and therefore didn't mention it to my doctor. About a month ago the weather started getting nice so I started actively playing sports again. In the middle of every Basketball game i would play, I started feeling very uncomfortable specially around my groin area. I figured this was due to the heat and so I just continued playing. Once I got home which is very cool I would still feel that pain and even after a shower that pain was still there. It lasted for about 5 hours after that, not including the time I was playing ball. The next week, I went for a walk in the city, it was about 80 degrees, with some friends and again the discomfort came.

When I came home so I did some research on the internet and found some interesting links between varicoceles and all sorts of health problems such as low sperm count, low testosterone levels, infertility etc. And also people that say that it can be harmless and such. Although I am 16 and haven't gone through puberty entirely, I sense that I may have low testosterone levels because I have barley any facial hair/body hair, my voice is not the deepest, I look younger than I should look and the only area that seems to be on point hair-wise is my pubic area. I am very skinny, too skinny and I workout often but barely see any results, I eat the right foods have a good sleeping cycle and so I assume it may have something to do with the Varicocele but I am not sure. So I realized this might be an issue and mentioned it to my doctor about 1 week ago and she referred me to a urologist and I have an appointment with the urologist during the first week of July. Any input regarding my case or Varicoceles and successful surgeries would be greatly appreciated by me. Unlike others who said they would keep this thread updated and didn't, I WILL post any updates even if no one is going to read it lol but yea bye for now.

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Erasmus
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Join date: Aug 2008
Location: Holland
Posts: 632

Jimmy0123 wrote:
Hello people I signed up strictly to reply to this post because I too have a Varicocele on my left testicle. I am 16 and have had a Varicocele for about 3 years I believe. When I found out that I had this I didn't pay much mind to it since it wasn't bothering me at the time and therefore didn't mention it to my doctor. About a month ago the weather started getting nice so I started actively playing sports again. In the middle of every Basketball game i would play, I started feeling very uncomfortable specially around my groin area. I figured this was due to the heat and so I just continued playing. Once I got home which is very cool I would still feel that pain and even after a shower that pain was still there. It lasted for about 5 hours after that, not including the time I was playing ball. The next week, I went for a walk in the city, it was about 80 degrees, with some friends and again the discomfort came.

When I came home so I did some research on the internet and found some interesting links between varicoceles and all sorts of health problems such as low sperm count, low testosterone levels, infertility etc. And also people that say that it can be harmless and such. Although I am 16 and haven't gone through puberty entirely, I sense that I may have low testosterone levels because I have barley any facial hair/body hair, my voice is not the deepest, I look younger than I should look and the only area that seems to be on point hair-wise is my pubic area. I am very skinny, too skinny and I workout often but barely see any results, I eat the right foods have a good sleeping cycle and so I assume it may have something to do with the Varicocele but I am not sure. So I realized this might be an issue and mentioned it to my doctor about 1 week ago and she referred me to a urologist and I have an appointment with the urologist during the first week of July. Any input regarding my case or Varicoceles and successful surgeries would be greatly appreciated by me. Unlike others who said they would keep this thread updated and didn't, I WILL post any updates even if no one is going to read it lol but yea bye for now.


Hey buddy,
Great that you signed up in this forum, there are some really knowledgable posters around here (myself not included :p )
The reason other posters haven't updated yet because they tragically died from the surgery , oops, sometimes those things happen you know...

I wouldn't worry about the hair, muscle and voice development so much. Everyone ripes at a different age, and a buddy of mine who is pretty strong has almost no body hair and just some whiskers on his face, and it's more tied to genetics then anything else.
Just wait for your lab tests how they score to see how your testosterone is doing.
You haven't mentioned your sexdrive, if it's not "normal" for a teenagers = horny as a goat 24/7, that's ok, but that may be a stronger indication of low testosterone.
This is just my view on it, feel free to correct me!

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waylanderxx
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Join date: Mar 2008
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I have one on my left nut too. As far as low test goes, I self medicate because I don't want surgery right now :)

A good friend of mine also has one on his left, and suffers severely decreased test levels because of it. He opted to get HRT rather then have it operated on as well.

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paulieserafini
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waylanderxx wrote:
I have one on my left nut too. As far as low test goes, I self medicate because I don't want surgery right now :)

A good friend of mine also has one on his left, and suffers severely decreased test levels because of it. He opted to get HRT rather then have it operated on as well.



URologist said there is no correlation with testosterone and varicoceles, I disagree with him but anyways he said he wouldn't operate on it for low testosterone only for pain.

but I have been seeing and endocrinologist and I may go on trt/hrt depending on the results of my latest labs.

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waylanderxx
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paulieserafini wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
I have one on my left nut too. As far as low test goes, I self medicate because I don't want surgery right now :)

A good friend of mine also has one on his left, and suffers severely decreased test levels because of it. He opted to get HRT rather then have it operated on as well.



URologist said there is no correlation with testosterone and varicoceles, I disagree with him but anyways he said he wouldn't operate on it for low testosterone only for pain.

but I have been seeing and endocrinologist and I may go on trt/hrt depending on the results of my latest labs.


I'd say that Urologist is a retard then lol.

Get that hrt script! haha

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rpalmer63
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As someone with what might be a varicocele, I appreciate all the knowledgeable people for contributing their knowledge to this thread.

I noticed swelling in my right testicle (it's about the size of a golf ball... enjoy that image) when I was 13. At my next checkup, my doctor noticed it, diagnosed it as a varicocele, and said it was nothing to worry about.

I'm almost 20 now and have been concerned about having low testosterone levels for awhile, although I blamed the low T on cutting absurd amounts of weight for wrestling in high school. My symptoms include low energy, pathetic facial hair, low libido, low assertiveness/ambition, gynecomastia (perhaps not related), and poor sleep.

I got my T levels checked in December 2011 and was in the low 500's, which seems low for a guy my age. Thyroid was normal and estrogen was basically nonexistent. I was stupid and didn't get Free T checked (my doctor was also stupid for not testing me for it, but I digress).

Now, thanks to viewing this thread and other research, I want to schedule an appointment with my doctor to discuss treatment options. I'm interning at a gym this summer, so I need a treatment option that I won't have me bedridden or inactive, so it seems like embolization is the way to go, although microsurgery seems more effective. Does anyone have suggestions? Based on his earlier ignorance on this subject, I don't trust my doctor to know much about the treatment options.

Foolishly or not, I'm hoping that fixing the varicocele will fix the other problems I've had with low T. I'd like to thank you all again for this enlightening conversation and I wish everyone the best of luck in their journeys. I'll post back with updates when they come and I hope everyone else will do the same.

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paulieserafini
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waylanderxx wrote:
paulieserafini wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
I have one on my left nut too. As far as low test goes, I self medicate because I don't want surgery right now :)

A good friend of mine also has one on his left, and suffers severely decreased test levels because of it. He opted to get HRT rather then have it operated on as well.



URologist said there is no correlation with testosterone and varicoceles, I disagree with him but anyways he said he wouldn't operate on it for low testosterone only for pain.

but I have been seeing and endocrinologist and I may go on trt/hrt depending on the results of my latest labs.


I'd say that Urologist is a retard then lol.

Get that hrt script! haha



omg no doubt. check out my thread if you want. I updated the first post today with a bunch of lab results

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/...tests_came_back

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