NEW YORK (June 16, 2011) -- As many as 15 percent of men have varicoceles, masses of enlarged and dilated veins in the testicles. There is new evidence that varicoceles, long known to be a cause of male infertility, interfere with the production of testosterone -- a crucial hormone to maintaining men's health.
There is good news too: Microsurgery can increase testosterone levels in these men. Results of new research by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center are in a recent edition of BJU International.
"Varicoceles are a much more serious problem than previously thought. Low testosterone causes significant health problems in men. Besides causing low energy, decreased muscle strength and sexual problems, it is a major risk factor for osteopenia/osteoporosis and can also cause changes in cognitive and psychological function, in particular, depression," says Dr. Marc Goldstein, who initiated and led the study. He is the Matthew P. Hardy Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Medicine and a professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medical College and surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also senior scientist with the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research, located on the campus of Rockefeller University.
Varicoceles usually first appear during or shortly after puberty, explains Dr. Goldstein. "The common wisdom has been to leave them alone unless they are causing pain or infertility. But, as a result of our study, I recommend that teenagers and men with serious varicoceles be referred to a male reproductive urologist experienced in microsurgical varicocelectomy. It is much easier to prevent future fertility problems and low testosterone than wait until the damage has already occurred."
Adult men with a varicocele and low testosterone should also consider microsurgery sooner rather
|Contact: Andrew Klein|
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College