Varicocele are varicose veins in a man’s scrotum. Scrotum is the sac which holds the testicles. The varicosities are caused by weakened valves in the gonadal vein which causes pooling of blood or backward flow of blood (reflux) through the vein. They are often described as feeling like “a bag of worms”.

Varicoceles are a relatively common condition and If they are small, which varicoceles normally are, they produce very few symptoms. Varicoeles are usually on the left side. The testicle is sometimes smaller in size. As the varicocele is caused by pooling of blood within blood vessels, their appearances are often dependent on gravity. They may become more prominent on standing up and at the end of the day.

Varicoceles develop over time and in some cases produce symptoms of pain, testicular atrophy and impaired fertility. The pain varies from sharp to dull discomfort and increases with standing or physical exertion, especially over long periods. It worsens over the course of a day and may be relieved upon lying on back. Impaired fertility- There is an association between infertility and varicoceles. Most men with varicocoeles are not infertile. However, if you have a varicocele, then there an increased chance of infertility. At times, varicocele causes shrinkage of testicles and is a cause of concern.

The diagnosis of a varicocoele is fairly simple by clinical examination and by using color Doppler ultrasound scan.

Symptomless varicoceles often need no treatment. Mild intermittent discomfort from the varicocele, which may be helped by using more supportive underpants. If a varicocele is causing trouble with fertility or causes significant discomfort, treatment may be advised.

Treatment- Pain medication like NSAIDs may be used to relieve the discomfort caused by varioccele. Surgical ligation of varicose veins is a treatment of past now. Varicocele Embolization is a highly effective, non-surgical treatment for varicoceles.