Varicocele is the enlargement of the veins that carry deoxygenated blood away from the testicles. A network of blood vessels holds the testicles in the scrotum. Are right-sided varicoceles serious? Read on to learn what does right-sided varicocele indicate?
Normally, varicoceles occur on the left side, right-sided varicoceles are rare. The reason is human anatomy; the left-sided varicocele is more common because the left spermatic vein terminates into a comparatively high-pressure renal vein.
Varicocele bag of worms
Most males may have varicocele and not even notice it because it might not cause any symptoms such as testicular pain, discomfort, or infertility. If a varicocele does not cause any symptoms then you don’t have to worry as it might not need any treatment too.
So, how do I know whether I have varicocele or some other condition? Varicocele feels like a bag of worms if you roll your finger over your scrotum.
A research study conducted on 96 patients with right-sided varicocele concluded that nonmalignant (Non-cancerous) causes were common in patients and very rarely do patients suffer from malignant (cancerous) causes. Hence, the study cancels the strong relation between right varicocele and cancer. 3
So, although right-sided varicoceles are rare, they do not represent any specific disease which means varicoceles whether they are on the right side or left side, they can occur due to any underlying cause.
There can be mainly 3 reasons for varicocele:
- Anatomy: The left-sided varicocele can be explained by termination of left spermatic vein into high pressure left renal vein.
- Venous insufficiency: valves in the blood vessels fail to control the backflow of blood due to which blood pooling starts.
- Nutcracker syndrome: when left renal vein coming from the kidney gets compressed and the blood flow backwards, it can cause pain, blood in the urine, varicocele etc.
Doctors use the following ways to diagnose varicocele:
The doctor will ask you to stand up, take a deep breath and hold it while they will look for any enlarged veins in the scrotum by physically examining your scrotum.
It is easier to detect any difference in the scrotum while the patient is standing compared to lying down.
- Soft lumps over the testicles
- Testicular swelling
- heaviness in the scrotum
- Stand in front of a mirror and check the size of each testicle and swelling on the testicles
- Roll your fingers over your scrotum to check for any lump-like formation.
Does varicocele cause male infertility?
This is one of the greatest concern with varicoceles. Varicoceles can cause excessive heat and oxidative stress on the sperm which can affect their function, structure, and production.
Do I need treatment for varicocele?
If you are not facing any symptoms of varicocele then you don’t have to worry as you don’t need any treatment. But if you are facing signs and symptoms of varicocele such as pain, discomfort, heaviness in the scrotum, and infertility then microsurgery is the option.
Microsurgery is the surgery done on small blood vessels under an operating microscope. It offers a success rate of 88% which means there is a very high chance that microsurgery can reverse your infertility or sperm function and production.
So, What does right-sided varicocele indicate? Right-sided varicocele not necessarily means that you are suffering from some serious condition as it has been proven in multiple research studies that it can be caused by multiple factors other than cancer.
So, there is no direct connection between a right-sided varicocele and cancer.
Varicoceles do not need treatment as long as they are not causing pain, discomfort, or infertility.