Varicocele/Low Testosterone/Embolization - Experiences?
I posted this in the urology forum but i feel it's probably better suited to this board instead.
My story is a pretty straightforward, please let me explain.
When i was around 15/16 i got an injury in my right testicle. This in turn caused a varicocele to form. Throughout puberty the testicle always remained small and size and the varicocele was very large at times. I did notice that my left testicle seemed to take over and became huge in size (about 90% larger than the left). It become large, smooth and about 5/6 times the size of the atrophied right testicle (at least 1.5+ inch). I had no problems thus far until about two months ago.
Two month's ago someone fell into my groin area during a football game and hit my left testicle against my pelvis/groin area. At the time the pain wasn't too bad and i delt with it well. I think rather than "hit" the testicle it got "pulled" a little causing some damage to the veins. That night while walking about my house i noticed a "dragging" sensation in the testicle and an enlarged vein in the scrotum (varicocele). I noticed the testicle didn't feel right, like some kind of blood supply problem but no actual pain.
I decided to visit the hospital. I explained everything to the doctor, the strange thing was that their was no swelling or discoloring (or infact any other signs of damage) to the testicle or scrotum. I did however notice the testicle had somewhat changed in density and size and became a little smaller. I didn't think much of this and put it down the injury causing some minor problem. Usually with a torsion, the testicle will swell up and be VERY painful, this didn't happen, infact the exact opposite happened. A torsion was out ruled at the hospital.
The doctor diagnosed a small varicocele. He told me not to worry about it and get on with my life. I did what the doctor ordered!
However, after a few week's i started feeling terrible. At first i couldn't explain it. I was flushing every night in bed, my muscles and joints started aching and my sex drive was dropping fast. My erections were becoming weaker and morning erections were rare. To make matter's worse the testicle was still shrinking.
By about 8 week's down the line i had visited many urologists but no one could explain what was going on. The varicocele had enlarged a great deal and the testicle shrunk further. I kept getting told that my testicle was in "normal size limits" and of no concern. But it wasn't normal for me.
My life was in ruins. I felt depressed, had no sex drive and no one could tell me why. Before all of this i was a healthy young 23 year old guy.
During this 8 week period i was getting blood test's done to check my hormone levels. Ever time a blood test was done my testosterone was dropping further and further. By the end my testosterone had went from being in the 600/700 range (at the start) to about 300/400 in the end. My free testosterone had dropped out of range (was at 48% - normal 70/100).
The strange thing was my LH and FSH were still in range. It was evident that the varicocele had caused the low testosterone and low sperm count in return.
My urologist recommend getting this fixed to see if my testosterone level improves. He said that when the LH/FSH levels are in range it mean's no damage has occured in the testicle at this stage and most of the time testosterone improves when the varicocele is repaired.
Anyway to cut a long story short, i am going in for varicocele embolization on monday morning at 8am. I am a little nervous about the whole thing but i think it will be for the best (though after reading some "horror stories" on the board i am starting to question this too!).
I am hoping this will help with the pain and discomfort in the scrotum and also improve my testosterone level (or at least bring it back to normal).
Has anyone else had good experiences after getting a varicocele repaired? Did anyone else notice an improvement in testosterone levels? Did your testicle regain "normal" size again?
I believe the testicle shrunk due to the heat and maybe blood flow issue caused by the varicocele. The testicle goes from being "fuller" and "normal" to being smaller and harder throughout the day. I have heard this is common however with varicoceles. The testicle is showing up as being normal on ultrasound.
I would love to hear personal experiences from anyone else who has had this procedure done and what the outcome was like.