Varicocele Meaning – Varicocele is medical terminology for a condition when the veins, called pampiniform plexus of the scrotum, get filled by the blood. This results in enlargement of the veins. It has the chance to occur in 10%-15% of men. In most cases, it occurs at the age of adolescence, commonly seen in the left leg scrotum. Symptoms of the varicocele include swelling of the area around the scrotum, in the legs and could lead to infertility in males as well. Such problems arise due to improper functioning of the valves present in veins.  

Diagnosis of Varicocele

There are two ways of diagnosing the varicocele 

By Visual Examination

Your doctor or surgeon may examine you by visual examination or by touch. The veins that are affected appear like a bag of worms. Doctors use techniques such as the Valsalva maneuver which could be effectively used for the diagnosis of Varicocele.

By ultrasound

One of the most used imaging techniques is ultrasound which could be used for the diagnosis of varicose veins. Ultrasound is done by passing high-frequency sound waves from the affected area. This helps in forming an image. Ultrasound or sonography uses the principle of the Doppler effect. It converts sound energy into images.

Semen Analysis for Adults

Types Of Grades Varicocele

Varicocele is of three types or grades based on visibility.

  1. 1. GRADE I – Grade I varicocele can be traced only when straining on the veins. It is not visible at all.
  2. 2. GRADE II- Grade II varicocele is not visible too. However, it can be felt at rest.
  3. 3. GRADE III- The Grade III varicocele is visible at one stage and its severity can be examined by using diagnostic tests such as ultrasound. 

Most often people face painless varicocele, but others show symptoms of it. All these stages of varicocele could be severe, depending upon the symptoms. Hence, if the pain is prompt, one needs to consult a doctor, to avoid any kind of future problem. 

Symptoms of Varicocele

Very often Varicocele is painless and might not be a big issue for many. But some people can face many symptoms such as,

  1. 1. Dull ache/pain in the area of the affected vein, in the scrotum. 
  2. 2. Appears like a bag of worms, bluish.
  3. 3. Feeling of heaviness in testis
  4. 4. Mostly on the left side scrotum area.
  5. 5. Lump formation
  6. 6. Could lead to infertility issues.
  7. 7. Change in size and shape of the testis.

Treatment of Varicocele

Varicocele leads to low sperm count, and sometimes it creates infertility in many men for two to three years. Pain, bulging, lump formation, and discomfort are some of the prominent symptoms. In such cases of severity, surgical methods are used for the treatment of varicocele. Some of the surgical methods are named as, Varicocelectomy, Percutaneous embolization, and laparoscopy.


The process of varicocelectomy is the surgical method of removal of the affected bulged vein. There is no way other than removing it. Veins are responsible for the transportation of blood through the male sexual reproductive system. Any hindrance due to blockage in blood flow may lead to difficulty in erection, which could be the reason for infertility and low sperm count in males. Hence it is recommended to remove it by surgery. 

Percutaneous Embolisation

Percutaneous embolization is the minimal surgery that is done on the varicocele veins of the scrotum. It could be done by using a small dose of drug anesthesia. This is a beneficial process as it could be done without any incisions. 

Laparascopy Varicocelectomy

This process also requires a small incision and is usually considered minor surgery. 

Which Doctor to Consult For Varicocelectomy

For diagnosis and treatment of varicocele, it is advisable to consult either a urologist or general surgeon/ doctor. 

What to Expect After Surgery?

Surgery is recommended for those with severe pain, discomfort, swelling, etc. It is visible to very few people. Only 15% of men have the varicocele in general.   After surgery, the following changes could be seen

  1. 1. The bulging of the veins gets reduced. 
  2. 2. The area of the scrotum recovers from swelling
  3. 3. Pain relieving after surgery
  4. 4. Prevent Infertility
  5. 5. Sperm count and sperm density recover.
  6. 6. Improved blood flow in the reproductive system of the male.

Varicocele Grading Radiology

The evaluation of varicocele grading by radiology is done by the following method.

  1. 1. Measuring the diameter of the vein and plexus.
  2. 2. Observing reflux during the Valsalva maneuver
  3. 3. Observation in standing position.

Varicocele is most often seen as the enlargement and the swelling of the veins. This might cause pain and other serious issues like male infertility, low sperm count, or low sperm density. This may have other side effects as well. Hence, it is very crucial to undergo the surgery process after diagnosis, as prescribed by the surgeon. After surgery, one gets betterment in the pain, discomfort, and many more. You can consult the health insurance policy company, to get complete information about the terms and conditions of the insurance. This can help you get discounts and other benefits from it. You can get your varicocele treatment done by a skilled surgeon, to minimize the chances of risk in the surgery. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes right-sided varicocele?

Varicocele is not such a dangerous disorder, but in some cases, it could be. Right-sided varicocele could happen due to tumor, formation of blood clots, or blockage of vein. Hence, it is advisable to consult a doctor to avoid any serious mishap. 

What are the grades of varicocele? 

There are four grades of varicocele, grade l, grade ll, and grade lll. Grade l and grade ll are not visible but grade lllvaricocele could be seen. 

What is the normal size of varicocele?

The size of the varicocele could be between 2mm – 3mm, depending upon the difference in the severity of symptoms and pain.

Which side is varicocele more common?

Varicocele in most men occurs on the left-hand side scrotum of the body. 

Is Varicocele Treatment Covered Under Insurance? 

Varicocele is generally covered under Insurance, depending upon the policy and terms and conditions. Hence it is advisable to talk to your life insurance company agent and get proper consultation and guidance. 

Can varicocele cause death?

Varicocele is not a fatal disorder, and might not lead to death. It is the enlargement of the veins due to the defect in the valves of the veins, which results in pain, swelling, and bulging of the area around the scrotum. Such symptoms should not be neglected and consultation with the doctor becomes necessary. 

Can varicocele cause permanent damage?

Varicoceles do not cause any permanent damage as such. It gets improved at a later age and also improves sperm count, and sperm density in males with time. But if one has seen signs and symptoms in the body, it is advisable to consult a urologist, or surgeon as soon as possible.

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