A varicocele often produces no signs or symptoms. Rarely, it may cause pain. The pain may:

  • Vary from dull discomfort — a feeling of heaviness — to sharp
  • Increase with sitting, standing or physical exertion, especially over long periods
  • Worsen over the course of a day
  • Be relieved when you lie on your back

With time, varicoceles may enlarge and become more noticeable.

When to see a doctor

Because a varicocele usually causes no symptoms, it often requires no treatment. Varicoceles may be discovered during a fertility evaluation or a routine physical exam.

However, if you experience pain or swelling in your scrotum or you discover a mass on your scrotum, contact your doctor. A number of conditions can cause a scrotal mass or testicular pain, some of which require immediate treatment.

Jan. 10, 2012