About Varicocele:

Varicocele is a common cause of Male Infertility. It is a condition where the veins of the spermatic cord in the scrotum become abnormally dilated and tortuous.

“Bag of Worms”
Color Doppler scan of scrotum

How common?

Varicocele is the most frequent cause of low sperm count with poor motility (oligo-astheno-zoospermia)15% of general Male population
40% of men evaluated for primary infertility and
50% of men evaluated for secondary infertility have Varicocele.

Varicocele is in fact the most common identifiable and surgically correctable factor contributing to poor Testicular function and decreased sperm count

How is it diagnosed?

A) Clinical Examination: The doctor will examine the patient in the standing posture and feels the spermatic cord, the cord like structure from which the Testes hangs. Varicocele feels like a bunch of worms in a bag. On coughing the feel gets transiently exaggerated.

B) Colour Doppler Sonography: It is an objective method of detecting and documenting a Varicocele

Grades of Varicocele:

Grade III or Large:         On inspection one can see the “bag of worms”
Grade II or Moderate:   On palpation without coughing one can feel the “bag of worms”
Grade I or Small:            Only on coughing one can feel the “bag of worms”
Sub-clinical Varicocele:  It is detected only by Colour Doppler.