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
- Mohammed A, et al. Testicular varicocele: An overview. Urology International. 2009;82:373.
- Varicoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=116. Accessed Oct. 31, 2011.
- Khera M, et al. Evolving approach to the varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2008;35:183.
- Robinson SP, et al. Treatment strategy for the adolescent varicocele. Urologic Clinics of North America. 2010;37:269.
- Wampler SM, et al. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:613.