Varicoceles: prevalence and pathogenesis in adult men

Raul I. Clavijo, Robert Carrasquillo, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Varicocele, or dilation of the pampiniform venous plexus, affects up to 15% of men. However, few of these men encounter problems with fertility. This discrepancy between men with varicocele and the number of adversely affected men has led to abundant research to identify the mechanisms for formation of varicocele as well as the pathologic mechanisms by which varicoceles affect fertility potential. In this review, we discuss the prevalence of varicocele in adults, the anatomic features of varicocele, the leading theories as to how varicocele can negatively affect fertility potential, and finally, the current literature on the impact of varicocele on testosterone production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-369
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Infertility
  • reactive oxygen species
  • spermatic vein
  • testosterone
  • varicocele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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