Varicocele and epididymal pain

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I have had epididymitis several times over the last 10 years, all bouts have cleared up with a few weeks of antibiotics (ciprofloxacin usually). I also have a varicocele in both testicles, however, up until recently these were completely painless.

In September 2020 I contracted epididymitis again, however this time I have just not been able to shake it. After 4 courses of antibiotics I still have some residual epididymal pain.

Additionally, starting in January 2021 I developed this almost constant ache in my stomach and testicles. The doctor seems to think this is being caused by my varicoceles. I had a scan in January which confirmed there was nothing else abnormal going on.

I have now been referred to urologist, so will see what they say.

I am aware that varicoceles are progressive, so the prospect of living the rest of my life with this dull ache is alarming to say to least. I've had to give up my favourite activities (cycling, weight training etc).

I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has suffered from chronic epididymal pain and/or consistent varicocele pain and (hopefully) about their journey to becoming pain free. Specifically, anyone who has had a operation to attempt to fix a varicocele (embolisation, surgical ligation etc) and whether or not it was successful.

I really hope I can get this sorted out and get my life back, at the moment I can't do much and it feels like I'm in storage.

Thanks a lot,


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9 Replies

  • Edited


    No one replied to this but just in case someone reads it in the future, I thought I'd post an update.

    I saw a urologist in London would made two opinions

    1. that I have 'Bell clapper deformity', which could suggest previous intermittent torsion and thus what would feel like intermittent epididymitis. He thought it very unlikely a man under 30 would have epididymitis not relating to an STD even once, so the fact I had it many times he thought almost impossible. Either way, he suggested an orchiopexy to fix the testicles as a preventative measure, as those with bell clapper are at a really high risk of testicular torsion
    2. Most likely he thought that the aching in the testicles and lower abdomen was coming from quite a large varicocele above my left testicle. He suggested a microscopic sub-inguinal varicocelectomy via the same incision he would make for the orchiopexy

    I had both procedures 4 days ago and am currently lying in bed recovering. He said both procedures went exactly as expected. I have weird bouts of pain that come and go in different regions of my testicles and abdomen but I expect this is the healing process. So far, I am cautiously optimistic as things are feeling alright, but I won't really know for another month (after full recovery and returning to normal activity).



    • Posted

      Thanks for the update, Dan. Hope you feel better soon! I'm having my own battle with testicular pain at the moment and it's certainly not fun.

    • Posted

      Hi Daniel,

      Firstly I hope you're feeling better after your surgery.

      I have been dealing with testicular pain for around 9 months now and been to see every doctor available to me. Our cases seem to be very similar besides the fact that you know you have a varicocele. I have had a scan which showed up normal, and finally been to see a urologist who sent me on my way with anti depressants.

      I wondered how you are progressing, it would be nice to hear you are getting your life back. I am in my 20s and cannot believe that I can't even go a run anymore because of pain. I have no idea where to go next with it all.

      Best Wishes,


    • Posted

      Hey Dan, any update? Did you fully heal? Is the pain gone?

    • Posted

      Hi both,

      Thanks for checking in!

      It has been almost exactly two months since the surgery and it has been a mixed bag. After about a month I was concerned because it didn't really feel like it has worked, and my abdominal pain got worse (so bad I went to see a gastroenterologist). However, in the last month things seem to be settling and improving. It is slow healing grind for sure, but it does seem to have done something. I'm certainly optimistic.

      I saw my surgeon again the other day for a post-op check up. He said that both procedures are pretty major surgery and he wouldn't like to investigate any pain until a further 2 months have passed be to sure any pain wasn't just left over healing from the operation. I was happy with this as I'm feeling quite positive about it at the moment anyway - it does seem to be getting better little by little. While I have discomfort, it is certainly a different kind of discomfort than what I was experiencing pre-op and is certainly more manageable, so something has definitely improved. I am able to actually go out now and enjoy myself, which is great! Also the epididymal seems to have subsided.

      When I first saw my urologist he said he thought it likely that maybe I had two or three things going on at once. The operation has perhaps helped with one of them. I still have this weird tightness in my perineum, which if is still there in 2 months he said he'd refer me on for pelvic floor therapy. I've been researching it and it does seem to have quite a good track record for sorting out undiagnosed pelvic and abdominal pain.

      Long story short, so far going OK, I'm feeling positive about it, I hope over the next few months to see further improvements.

      LewisR sorry to hear you are suffering. I'm not sure what you said to your urologist, however that does seem to be an odd conclusion from a session about testicular pain. Of course, one of the biggest problems with testicular pain is that it often presents without any identifiable physical abnormality. Is the pain in your epididymus or in your stomach (or both)? Don't lose hope though, there are always nerve blocks if all else fails.



    • Posted

      Another quick update:

      Unfortunately the lower abdominal ache and testicular/perineum ache that initially flared up in Jan last year (and had disappeared completed in the last few weeks) returned abruptly on Dec 31st.

      This is very disappointing to say the least. I'm also not sure what to make of its abrupt return, as I didn't absolutely nothing different that day which would act as a trigger.

      I'm seeing my urologist again at the end of this month, so I will see what he says, but I suspect the issue is nerve related now, rather than a physical abnormality.

      I was so excited about 2022 being a year to get my life back on track, now I seem to be back where I started.

      Fingers crossed for the future! I'll post another update once I've seen my urologist.


    • Posted

      Hi - final update from me here.

      I saw my urologist and he sent me off for pelvic floor therapy. He also told me that I shouldn't expect to be pain free until June (sort of now) because it takes about 9 months for any surgery to truly 'embed'.

      I saw a physio for the pelvic floor and all my abdominal pain was coming from really tight pelvic floor muscles, which was causing referred pain to my stomach and testicles. I'm really happy to say that after a few months of therapy (yoga and PF massages) and more healing time, it has all cleared up! I'm so happy and so relieved.

      I'd highly recommend PFT it seems to have worked wonders. OK thanks all, I hope you have similar success stories with your own pains!


    • Posted

      Hi Daniel how are things going so far suffering from the above and want to know how long from surgery to full recovery took?

    • Posted

      Hi Mike, sorry to hear that. I would say 9 months to fully heal from the operation. However, I was up and walking around OK from about 6 weeks.

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