Varicocele - causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Enlargement of pampiniform plexus veins in the scrotum is called Varicocele. It shrinks testicles, decreases sperm production, quality and leads to infertility. The symptoms of varicocele occur near the scrotum and are similar to varicose veins in legs.


This disease is common in males. According to the American Urological Association, when puberty hits between the age of 15-25 the chances are high. About 10-15 of every man in 100 experience this.

They do not affect sperm production and are usually painless but sometimes Varicocele can cause testicular pain that may come and go. Good news! This health issue is not life threatening and on top of that treatment is not a necessity unless you are in pain. It has to be considered if the person is trying to have a biological child. A health care provider can diagnose this condition and suggest a proper treatment.

Table of Contents

What causes Varicocele?

A series of valves in the testicular veins prevent the blood exiting from the testicles. Sometimes these valves don’t close completely and blood flow starts backward into the testicles without emptying into the body.The enlargement of veins in the scrotum, caused by defects in the valves of the spermatic cord veins, leads to Varicoceles.This commonly takes place during puberty, when the testicles are undergoing rapid growth. When these veins become enlarged, overheating of testes lowers sperm production and function that affects fertility.

Possible symptoms of Varicocele

Screening of varicocele

Grading of Varicocele

The size of the lump in testicle helps to classify Varicocele grades from 0-3.

Complications of Varicocele

They increase the risk of other complications like

How to get rid of varicocele

Home remedies for Varicocele


Varicoceleis a common condition that affects people at different stages of life. Most people experience mild or no symptoms. Infertility is commonly seen with this and is typically corrected successfully with surgery . Pain after surgery is mild and can return to his daily activities within 2-3 days. Consulting a doctor and following his treatment pattern helps in speed recovery. In many cases doctors only recommend waiting and observing, rather than opting for surgery, especially if there are no symptoms. There are plenty of options to fix this issue permanently.

Frequently Asked Questions

➔ Supporting scrotum with jockstrap or brief style underwear help varicocele pain.
➔ Lying on your back helps to drain varicocele and relieves pain.
➔ Taking painkillers – acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc. subsidies pain

Semen quality gets better within 6 months to 1 year. Semen analysis can be performed for 3-4 months to check the sperm quality.

As a rule varicocele with no symptoms were not treated as they do not cause health problems. However, semen analysis can be performed to check whether sperm quality is affected or not.

Most males with varicose will not have any problem. Semen analysis is highly recommended after the age of 16 if a normal repeating test for every 2-3 years is needed to overcome fertility issues.