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Urology/Varicocele and chastity device

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Question
Hi there!  After an ultrasound at the ER, I was diagnosed with a varicocele.  The symptoms started a week earlier, around the same time my wife and I became interested in using a chastity device.  The device consists of a ring which encircles the scrotum and penis, and an attached cage which houses the penis.  

Obviously, an improperly sized ring can cut off circulation, and so I think I probably caused the varicocele while I was trying to find the right fit.  (Many men wear these devices 24/7 with absolutely no issues.  The correct ring size should allow proper circulation, I just messed up).  

Now I'm wondering whether or not I can do further damage to my testes by continuing to wear the device (with the proper fit), or if I need to abstain from the device altogether?

Also, if I get a varicocelectomy, am I at a higher risk for another varicocele later if I continue with the device, or should I be "back to normal"?  Because my wife and I really enjoy this new toy, and we would be very sad to have to swear it off.  

Thanks so much for your answer!

Answer
Steve:

We do not recommend the use of ring devices on the genitals as you've described.  There is no way to get a "proper fit" under all circumstances and just what do you think will happen in a car accident or fall?  Nothing good.  There is also the possibility of skin erosions, irritation and accident.

There is no medical or scientific evidence to support safety of this device.

Likewise, there is no published data on what the long term use of such a device might be so we cannot answer your question about it's safety or effects on later development of a varicocele.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.

Experience

Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

Organizations
American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Publications
Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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