To better understand varicocele, it helps to understand the anatomy of the scrotum and testicles.
The scrotum is a sac of skin that contains two testicles, which produce sperm. Next to each testicle lie the epididymis, vas deferens, and spermatic cord. The scrotum also contains blood vessels and fat.
Each testicle receives its blood supply from blood vessels that pass through the spermatic cord. A blocked spermatic cord cuts off the blood supply to the testicle.
The epididymis is a thin, folded, tube that is about 15 feet long. The epididymis receives sperm from the testicle in the scrotum. The sperm mature as they pass through the epididymis. The epididymis ends in the vas deferens, through which sperm pass to the prostate gland.
Male genital anatomy:
- Inguinal canal and scrotum
- Prostate, testes, and penis
- Prostate and bladder
- Locations where lymph node swelling can be felt
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