You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a urologist.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Jot down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. For varicocele, some questions to ask include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or more permanent?
- Will this condition affect my fertility?
- What treatments are available? Which do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any restrictions on sexual activity that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions that arise during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
What you can do in the meantime
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever and wear an athletic supporter to relieve pressure.
Dec. 07, 2014
- Varicoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=116. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Eyre RC. Evaluation of nonacute scrotal pathology in adult men. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Masson P, et al. The varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2014;41:129.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=468779756-21. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Trost LW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 23, 2014.
- Nork JJ, et al. Youth varicocele and varicocele treatment: A meta-analysis of semen outcomes. Fertility and Sterility: 2104;102:381.