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surgery for very mild varicocele?

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  1. #1
    ragdoll
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    Question surgery for very mild varicocele?

    When my husband and I went through the initial testing for infertility, it was found that he had a low sperm count (less than 20 million) and a very mild, almost undetectable varicocele. My tests, ultrasounds, etc. have all been normal (except for a high-normal TSH they just did). We discussed varicocele surgery at the time but my husband stated that the urologist felt it wasn't really indicated (I didn't go with him to the urologist; now I wish I had).

    We started off trying IUIs with Clomid, then IUIs with gonadotropins, and now we're moving to IVF (sperm count is not low enough to warrant ICSI). A year ago, surgery seemed like such a drastic solution, I didn't really push very hard, but now I'm wondering whether it was a mistake not to have it done. I'm also wondering whether my husband may have distorted or misinterpreted what the urologist said. He would never lie, but it's possible he heard what he wanted to hear. My RE never pushed the surgery either. I like my RE very much but I wonder if some male bias is at play. A friend asked my why, if my husband was the "problem," I was the one getting all the treatment. She was asking from a medical viewpoint, not questioning the "justice" of it all, but I think she may have brought up a good point. Any thoughts?


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  3. #2
    OBXgal
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    Hi Ragdoll,
    My DH also has a "slight varicocele" on the left according to 2 urologists. It can be detected by hand. Neither of the urologists recommended the surgery to fix it.

    DH has low morphology problems. We used IVF/ICSI and got pg with our son almost 5 years ago.

    DH did start taking some vitamins in early November 2005, and we got pg on our own in January. Without the surgery. We were glad to not have pursued it, actually.

    Of course, every situation is different, and maybe your DH's varicocele could be impacting his fertility. None of the docs we spoke with were convinced that a slight one did impact fertility, though. Hope our experiences help. Good luck!

    Tara
    18w
    EDD 9/16/06


  4. #3
    sun8
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    My husband also had a varicocele. We thought this was the answer for us not getting pregnant. We thought "Wow, easy fix". Anyways wee proceeded with the surgery. It was a fairly simple procedure and we were in and out of the hospital in a few hours. I think my dh rested on the couch for the next day and was back to normal activities. Well 3 years later, we just started IVF. Our only dx is male factor. The varicocele surgery did not increase my husbands counts. So should you do it?? Well maybe this will fix your issues. Unfortunately the varicocele surgery does not work on everybody. I hope it works for you!! Good luck.


  5. #4
    UmmyINSH
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    My dh has been to several urologists (u/s, etc) over the years to see if he had a varicocele. The first couldn't find and the last said it was a slight varicocele but nothing that he thought was worth surgery. Right after my dh's dx, there were some articles in the paper about the varicocele surgery and they were saying it only helps a few anyway. No guarantees.

    He HAD low count but that is up now thanks to supplements but his motility is still horrible. The urologist has him on clomid and Proviron now and told him to continue the supplements. I think my dh was kind of hoping the new doc WOULD say the varicocele was the problem so he could have the surgery and get this TTC thing out of the way, but . .

    That seems to be the case with most things . . .


  6. #5
    because
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    Quote Originally Posted by sun8
    My husband also had a varicocele. We thought this was the answer for us not getting pregnant. We thought "Wow, easy fix". Anyways wee proceeded with the surgery. It was a fairly simple procedure and we were in and out of the hospital in a few hours. I think my dh rested on the couch for the next day and was back to normal activities. Well 3 years later, we just started IVF. Our only dx is male factor. The varicocele surgery did not increase my husbands counts. So should you do it?? Well maybe this will fix your issues. Unfortunately the varicocele surgery does not work on everybody. I hope it works for you!! Good luck.
    hello, Same here. husband had the surgery last year.
    We thought It was our "easy fix" as well.But Not.
    We are in the process of being appointed.
    We have selected IVF.


  7. #6
    because
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragdoll
    When my husband and I went through the initial testing for infertility, it was found that he had a low sperm count (less than 20 million) and a very mild, almost undetectable varicocele. My tests, ultrasounds, etc. have all been normal (except for a high-normal TSH they just did). We discussed varicocele surgery at the time but my husband stated that the urologist felt it wasn't really indicated (I didn't go with him to the urologist; now I wish I had).

    We started off trying IUIs with Clomid, then IUIs with gonadotropins, and now we're moving to IVF (sperm count is not low enough to warrant ICSI). A year ago, surgery seemed like such a drastic solution, I didn't really push very hard, but now I'm wondering whether it was a mistake not to have it done. I'm also wondering whether my husband may have distorted or misinterpreted what the urologist said. He would never lie, but it's possible he heard what he wanted to hear. My RE never pushed the surgery either. I like my RE very much but I wonder if some male bias is at play. A friend asked my why, if my husband was the "problem," I was the one getting all the treatment. She was asking from a medical viewpoint, not questioning the "justice" of it all, but I think she may have brought up a good point. Any thoughts?
    hello, My husband had the surgery Last year.
    his varicole was large though.
    This surgery made no difference for us.


  8. #7
    Odem
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    Similarly, my DH has slight bilateral varicoceles. One urologist wanted to operate, but we sought a second opinion in Singapore and then a third opinion from a highly regarded urologist in the States. Doctors 2 and 3 said in all honesty, the surgery would unlikely improve our situation. They recommended that we try IVF (with 200,000 - 500,000 for our sperm count, IUI wasn't a good solution either, although we tried it once just for kicks). Looking back, I'm glad we invested our $ and our energies in doing IVF w/ ICSI instead of a varicocelectomy and testicular biopsy and the other things we could have continued trying.

    And yes, with IVF and many other IF treatments, it DOES feel like the woman gets all the treatment, even if the only problem is MF! However, as our last urologist pointed out, there is really little known about solving male infertility. Now there's an injustice!

    Odem


  9. #8
    CdnMom
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    My XDH had a large varicole as well and he had surgery to correct it. Well with surgery and vitamins, his counts increased drastically and within 7 months I was pg with our first naturally.
    Michelle -- Momma to my A-Team
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    6 m/c's and finally
    Our family is complete


  10. #9
    rashin4
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    MY dh also has Grade 2 Varicocele palpable on clinical examination, visible and confirmed by doppler flow....... his counts are low between 1-5 million with 15% motility and 15% morphology.....

    do u think it will help


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