In other surgery news....I haven't really mentioned this in any other posts because I wasn't sure that Mike would be okay with me posting his business on the internet, but since it could be a big factor of our infertility, he is okay with it. Mike has a very low sperm count. It's usually around 2.5-5 million sperm with a 75-95% motility. He has had some pain (down there) for about a year. He saw a doctor locally either late last year or earlier this year and the doctor thought it might be epididymitis and gave him some mild pain pills and told him to relax in a warm bath a couple times a week.
What is epididymitis, you ask?
Epididymitis is an inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm. Pain and swelling are the most common signs and symptoms of epididymitis. Males of any age can get epididymitis, but it's most common in men between the ages of 14 and 35.
After seeing this doctor twice and not him resolving the issue, Mike decided to go to his dad's urologist about an hour north of us. This doctor told Mike that he thinks that he has varicocele and he ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound verified that it is indeed varicocele.
What is varicocele, you ask?
A varicocele (VAR-ih-koe-seel) is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles. A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in your leg.
Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility. However, not all varicoceles affect sperm production. Varicoceles can also cause testicles to shrink.
Most varicoceles develop over time. Fortunately, most varicoceles are easy to diagnose and many don't need treatment. If a varicocele causes symptoms, it often can be repaired surgically.
It's not just one or two...no...a bunch of veins. He is scheduled to have a varicocelectomy on December 6th (next Friday).
Tell you more about a varicocelectomy?! OK!
Varicocelectomy is by far the most commonly performed operation for the treatment of male infertility. The goal of treatment of the varicocele is to obstruct the refluxing venous drainage to the testis while maintaining arterial inflow and lymphatic drainage.
In principle, repair of varicocele should halt any further damage to testicular function, and in a large percentage of men, results in improved spermatogenesis as well as enhanced Leydig cell function. Urologists, therefore, have a potentially important role in preventing future infertility, which underscores the importance of using a varicocelectomy technique that minimizes the risk of complications and recurrence.
So Mike will be out of work for two weeks. Since he just started this job in June, he has no paid time off. We will be without his paycheck for two weeks. Ouch.
Next week is going to be a BLAST! Wish us luck! :)