What are Varicoceles..? Varicoceles are when the pampiniform plexus veins in the scrotum become enlarged. These veins are like varicose veins (twisted, swollen veins, found in the leg.) Varicoceles form during puberty. They can grow larger and you may notice them more over time. Varicoceles are more common on the left side of the scrotum. This is because the male anatomy is not the same on both sides. Varicoceles can exist on both sides at the same time, but this is rare. About 10 to 15 boys out of 100 have a varicocele.
Most of the time, varicoceles cause no problems and are harmless. Less often varicoceles can cause pain, problems fathering a child, or one testicle to grow slower or shrink.
Symptoms Most males with a varicocele have no symptoms. But varicoceles are a concern for many reasons. Some may cause infertility (problems fathering a child) and slow growth of the left testicle during puberty. Varicoceles may be the cause of fertility problems in about four out of ten men who have problems fathering their first child. They may also be the cause of fertility problems in about eight out of ten men who have problems fathering a child after their first.