YOUR HEALTH: What stopped a family from having a second child

The culprit may be a fairly common condition in men

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Even after having one child, almost one in ten couples can have trouble conceiving a second.

It's called "secondary infertility".

If there is a medical reason for the delay, the culprit may be a fairly common condition in men.

"There was nothing being red-flagged whenever she would just go for a doctor's visit," Daniel Mundo remembered about his wife's repeated check-ups while they tried to conceive a second child.

"She was fine; she was perfectly healthy."

But still the Mundos couldn't conceive another child after their son Zachary was born.

So, when Daniel made an unrelated appointment with urologist David Shin for discomfort, fertility was still on his mind.

Dr. Shin diagnosed Daniel with a varicocele. 

It's a varicose vein that contributes to 40% of all male infertility.

"And what it does is create a heat effect as if the testicles are in a sauna, all day, every day," explained Dr. Shin, a sexual health and fertility surgeon with Hackensack University Medical Center.

"Now, being in a sauna 10-15 minutes, no big deal," he added.. 

"24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not so good."

Varicoceles occur in about 15% of adult men and 20% of teen males.

To correct it, Dr. Shin uses a minimally-invasive microsurgical technique called varicocelectomy

"And we use an operating microscope to look at about 25 times magnification, the veins, so that when we look at it, we tie off the veins that are problematic."

Using surgical tools, any enlarged veins that are blocking blood flow will be cut and sealed. This procedure improves the amount of sperm, the percentage of moving sperm, and the percentage of shape sperm.

Daniel went home the same day. 

Dr. Shin says on average most couples conceive about nine months after surgery. 

For the Mundos, it was much faster.

"I would have to say it happened very late that same month or early the next month," said Daniel.

His daughter, little Delilah, was born ten months after Daniel's procedure.

"This is the best thing I've ever done. I wouldn't have it any other way."

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.