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

  • Vary from sharp to dull discomfort
  • Increase with 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. In young men, the presence of a varicocele impairs sperm production and can often be improved with treatment.

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, discover a mass on your scrotum, notice that your testicles are different sizes, or develop a varicocele in your youth, or you're having problems with fertility, contact your doctor. A number of conditions can cause a scrotal mass or testicular pain, some of which require immediate treatment.

Dec. 06, 2014

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