Learn what to do if a varicocele repair doesn’t work
A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that drain the testicles. It is present in about 15% of the male population and 40% of hopeful fathers who are evaluated for infertility. Doctors typically discover this condition during a physical examination when they notice what may feel like a “bag of worms.”
A varicocele can cause fertility issues, as it diminishes the flow of blood out of the testicles, which increases the testicular temperature. This increase in temperature can affect the quantity and quality of sperm. Because of this, many hopeful fathers undergo surgery to try and repair the varicocele. Unfortunately, this repair does not always work.
What to do after varicocele repair doesn’t work
For hopeful fathers who have had varicocele repair but are still unable to produce sperm that results in a healthy pregnancy, our San Antonio fertility center can provide effective next steps. The following treatments can often lead to a healthy pregnancy for hopeful parents managing the challenges of a failed or suboptimal varicocele repair.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI). An IUI is a procedure during which a subpopulation of fast moving sperm (isolated from a man’s sperm specimen in the laboratory) is placed into the hopeful mother’s uterus around the time of ovulation.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF involves the hopeful mother taking ovarian stimulation medications to produce multiple eggs. The retrieved eggs will then be fertilized by the hopeful father’s sperm, and one of the resulting embryos will be transferred to the woman’s uterus. This is one of the most effective options for those wondering what to do after varicocele repair doesn’t work.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). There are two ways of achieving fertilization of an egg in the IVF laboratory. For men who have a normal semen analysis, Ovation embryologists often add 15,000 or so moving sperm into a droplet of culture media that contains each egg. During an overnight incubation, about 75% of these “inseminated eggs” should fertilize. Alternatively, for men who have very low sperm counts, low motility or a higher than usual number of abnormally shaped sperm, Ovation embryologists can perform ICSI. During this procedure, the embryologists do their best to identify a single healthy sperm, which they then inject each egg during an IVF cycle. Using this technique, Ovation embryologists can raise the likelihood of successful fertilization for men with severely impaired sperm quality to that of men with a normal semen specimen.
Why should you visit our office before a varicocele repair?
Because varicocele repair is occasionally ineffective, our San Antonio fertility center recommends that hopeful fathers who suspect they have a varicocele, or who have been diagnosed with this condition, schedule a consultation with us. We can then help you to identify the most effective and affordable treatment plan for your particular situation.
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