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I have been aware of a large mass around 2cm in size amongst the vanes of my left testicle since around the age of 14. I am now 21 and the 'extra testicular' lump is still there and has recently become accompanied by a smaller softer lump higher in the scrotum, coupled with an aching and generally uncomfortable feeling. This prompted me to visit my GP*, and I was sent for an ultrasound examination. I was told that the large mass was a varicocele and the smaller softer lump was filled with fluid which formed as a result of the generally poor circulation around the testicle. However, I was not told of the ways in which this may influence my fertility in the future, and I'm worried that the longer I leave it to have the vanes repaired, the lower the chances of successfully restoring testicular function.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had the surgery to repair such a problem, and why the surgery was necessary.

*I was very embarrassed about going to see the doctor about such an issue and put off the visit and worried about the lump for almost 7 years. In hindsight, I wish I had gone to my GP sooner. The doctor was fantastic and it wasn't embarrassing in the slightest. The ultrasound took 2 minutes at most and it settled 7 years of worry about what the lump may be there and then.

1 like, 40 replies

40 Replies

  • Posted

    I had a varicocele about 20 years ago (aged 20) and had it operated on , general discomfort cause me to see my doctor. He mentioned the possibility of reduced fertility and I did a before and after test to see if I was fertile - all OK. The op was pretty painless and consisted of a small cut in the lower stomach (ie nowhere near your nuts guys!!) a bit like an apendix scar (but mine was on the left)...they went in an tied off the offending veins which then wither and die back.

    Now 41 my varicocele has returned along with a cyst and a small hydrocele , just to complete the set!

    Fertility is not an issue for me so its all about the general discomfort and making sure its not \"C\". Probably going to need another op to sort the cyst and hydrocele which this time will be a cut to the nuts! Have not yet got the final solution from the doc to see if all 3 can be sorted together , and to see if medical sceince has moved on much in 20yrs on the varicocele solution!

  • Edited

    I had been suffering from Varicoceles for over 3 years. It got to the point where i could not stand the pain any longer.

    My work involves sitting at computers, so it was either change my career or try and get it sorted.

    I had a couple of ultrasounds scans and confirmed what i had and was referred to hospital and had surgery what is known as a \"Varicocele Embrolisation\" (or \"Varicocele Embrolization\" in american spelling)

    A painless procedure (although i did have some discomfort due to my vein going into spasm)

    It procedure involves a small cable pushed into the groin opposite into your renal vein which then guided a catheter into the testicles where small coils are dropped into place where the blood hardens and blocks the offending vein.

    See here for a diagram:

    I certainly recommend it.. its a doddle of a procedure. I went into hospital at 9am and was out at 1pm. Took a few days rest to let things heal and I am now 95% healed. I do not get much pain.. maybe a twinge now and then. My life is certainly better!

    • Edited

      Hi, Thank you for sharing your experience. However, I wanted to know if you went through incisional varicocelectomy or any other kind? Also, how long did it take for you to go back to normal, by that I mean, have sex etc? Was there any difference regarding sexual function before and after the treatment? Would really appreciate your answers!
  • Posted

    im 21, and ive been in a lot of pain for the last 4 months stemming from my left nut up to my left abdomen, i am not sure what the problem is but i think its varicocele, but from the lit ive read it doesnt seem like there should be pain...what kind of pain does anyone experience?
    • Posted

      I am 35. When. I was 21 I got the first pain I. The testicle area. I saw a urologist and he did no tests. He just said it was something called epidamytitus. That's not spelled right. And gave me antibiodics and some percs. I took them and it seemed to get better but the pain came back about 2 months later. I just never went back because the pain wasn't intense. I basically learned to live with it. It was more of a discomfort than a pain. I have days and weeks where I won't feel pain for weeks and than there are times it hurts everyday. Usually the way I describe the pain. Is it feels like someone is squeezing or twisting my testable. And there is just constant pressure on it. When it is hurting. Sitting for extended periods of time makes it worse. And it is usually about a 3 or 4. Out of ten in pain. Now back in May it started hurting worse and now at 35 and been dealing with this since I was 21 I just want it fixed at all costs. That same Dr finally gave me an ultrasound. Said it is a Varicocel. I didn't opt for surgery than as he said I didn't need it if I didn't want it. Well that was in May. I am sitting g in my room now on a Tuesday night in December. And let me tell you, the pain for the last 3 days has been an 8 or a 9 out of ten. It has even started causing residual pain in my legs and back. I have a heating pad on. I am calling my doctor Tom and telling him it is an emergency as I can barely stand up the pain is so great. And I am going to get the surgery and quickly as they will do it for me. Because the pain is excruciating. So to answer your question yes it can hurt... For most of the time it was more of a discomfort and just felt like pressure was being applied to it as they were twisting it n circles. But now the pain is very severe. So it may be to late for you. But if I can give any young man that may be reading this post some advise. It is 1.

      Do not be embarrassed to go see a Dr. This is very common. And 2. If you are in pain. Don't live with it for almost 15 years like I have. Because it has been very annoying and bothersome over that time. Get the surgery and get it fixed.

    • Posted

      same for me and i am 58. the pain is unbearable at times. i also have some swelling it seems at the top of my scrotum near the base of my penis

  • Edited

    [quote:ea60c52a03=\"Anonymous\"]im 21, and ive been in a lot of pain for the last 4 months stemming from my left nut up to my left abdomen, i am not sure what the problem is but i think its varicocele, but from the lit ive read it doesnt seem like there should be pain...what kind of pain does anyone experience?[/quote:ea60c52a03]

    This reply may be a little late but still.

    I have had this problem since 18(ish) and am 24 now.

    The pain that I feel is a dull ache, as if I constantly have a weight pulling my left testicle down, I put off going to see a GP for a long time and then when I did go to see him because the discomfort was so bad he had a quick look and told me to come back if they get any bigger.

    I siad that sometimes they are substantially bigger and the next day they could be smaller again, so he told me if they are bigger at and point to tell the nurse/reception girl that it was important and to let me see him that day.

    They are still there and the dull ache is getting bad, so I am going to book an appointmet asap. IT would be a BANK holiday today, tut. :!:

    good luck with your nut(s)


    • Posted

      whats ur condition now, please share if u have done operation.
  • Posted

    I had the varicole embolisation 6 weeks ago. I am still in pain at the moment, pain is a lot worse now than it was before the operation. Is this normal?
  • Edited


    for the last month or so i have been getting aching pains in my left testicle along with tightness and swelling, and more over the last few weeks a aching in my left groin also making my legs feel weaker than usual. i do get slight aching in the lower bladder areas over to the left but i reckon this is related with the aching in my left testicle.. i also realised an extra swelling above the left testicle in a sort ov oval shape....

    i saw my gp a few days ago and from what he could tell, i have an epididymal cyst.

    he has referred me to the hospital to have a ultrasound exam to determind what it actually is.

    from what iv read on the net it seems to me like the lump is an epididymal cyts and the aching and swelling is Varicocele.

    its on my mind all day and noticable as its kind of tender.. im not keen on surgery but have found information on Varicocele embolization which im much more happier with but not sure if its that popular?

    • Posted

      I had varicocele embolization done 5 years ago and it successfully got rid of my varicocele. It's a really simple painless procedure. I'm now able to exercise and train without the horrible aching I would get before. I had previously had surgery which failed to get rid of the varicocele so my urologist recommended embolization. 
  • Posted

    Hi, I'm 22yo and had a 'dull ache' in my left teste on and off for a week it hurts like mad and doesn;t seem to be going away! I've recently started exercising - cycling and swimming especially so I'm thinking this may have kicked it off...and I though exercise was meant to be good for you :? how long should I expect this to last and should I see the doctor about it or will he just send me away? I have pain in the vein above the lefty and slight pain in my left abdomen but this may just be my bowel.. It's happened at the worst possible time I have coursework to do and I can't go to uni with what feels like a clamp on my ball! and it's stopping me sleeping sad

    Any advice greatly appreciated

    Thanks, Dave

  • Posted

    Hi Dave, to be on the safe side, see a GP first. I started feeling the same dull ache/pain/discomfort on my left testicle a month ago. The feeling is on and off and at first, I thought that its just the usual muscle pain I normally get after a work out at the gym or maybe too much running. My doctor sent me to get an ultra-sound and found out that I have varicocele. At least now I know why I feel something on my left scrotum and lately, I feel some pain too on my left groin. I saw a specialist and he told me that they have a procedure to fix it.

    So...find time and get an appointment with your doctor. Hope this helps.

  • Posted

    RannyC thanks for your advice, 2 months down the line I'm still suffering! now and again the pain moves to the right one aswell..but it's a different kind of pain. I went to the doctors initially (2mths ago) and he told me basically to take PK's and it will go away-typical, makes you wonder why bother? But anyway, it went away for a little bit, or i got used to the feeling, but the pain is really uncomfortable can be quite deabilitating and makes it hard to do anything energic. Have you had the op? if so, what does it entail and what are the chances of complications?? I'm gonna go back to the doctors hopefully this week.

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