Most of the 15 percent of adult males who develop varicoceles—a chronic dilation of the veins that drain blood from the testicles—experience no threat to their overall health and are often treated with a simple wait-and-see approach. However, varicoceles can affect quality of life or fertility for some men, particularly in more advanced cases.

Varicoceles are the number-one cause of correctable male infertility, according to Robert P. Caruso, M.D., a urologist and robotic surgeon at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey. He explained the varicoceles-caused dilation eventually increases the temperature in the testicles, which can impact sperm production and impair fertility.

Adam Ramin, M.D., a urologist and the medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, added that varicoceles can be unsightly and upsetting to some