Hydrocele and Varicocele - Size matters!

  • By Team TDO

With time, patients have been encouraged to drop their shyness and seek help whatever their complaints may be. Ironically, in this aspect, men continue to be ignored. They are hesitant and are unable to reach out to a doctor.

When an infection occurs or an abnormal body function is set in motion, symptoms come up. The common symptoms of most such conditions are pain, swelling, redness, heat and fever. What would you do if there was a swelling on your foot? You would see a doctor. Why not meet a doctor when there is a swelling in the reproductive organs?

Scrotal swelling is a common condition among men. Patients ignore the symptoms initially and later feel uncomfortable approaching a physician.

What they are not aware of is that the condition can be easily treated. They do not have to remain in pain and discomfort.

What is it?

There are two main reasons why such a swelling occurs.

One, it could be because of obstruction in the blood flow. This is called varicocele.

Second, it could be because of unnatural collection of other body fluids. This is called hydrocele.


A common condition, it is a result of enlarged veins. Similar to the plumbing in our houses, there are valves that manage blood flow in our body. These valves prevent any kind of backflow of blood. Due to certain defects in the valves, their function may be hampered. This leads to abnormal collection of blood in the veins and they dilate.

Generally, the symptoms one may experience are those of heavy dragging sensation and some visible swelling around the scrotum and even lower abdomen. A few men may find it painful.

It is frequently noted in young males, and is found to be present in 15-20% of the male population.


This is a balloon like swelling filled with fluid inside the scrotal area. In contrast to varicocele, this condition is frequently noted in males over the age of 40. It can be one sided or may affect both sides.

It is often self-limiting and has no specific cause. Wait and watch is the best approach in many cases. Often, the only symptom is discomfort and heaviness. You will hardly ever feel any pain.

Occasionally, it may be a result of some underlying infection where body fluids get collected in the affected area. But no need to worry, with associated infection, there are associated symptoms. And why fear when the doctor is here. Find one, take an appointment and get a checkup done.

Newer surgical treatments guarantee minimum effects on fertility. After the first year post surgery 50% fertility rate has been noted and 70% after two years.

Back to normal

Both the conditions are curable. But if ignored, complications may develop. The patients may become infertile.

The treatment is simple and does not have any side effects. For hydrocele, treatment may not even be needed. Just like cleaning a choked tap, a quick drainage of the swelling takes care of the problem.

Even if your doctor advises surgical intervention, don’t get scared. It is a routine and minor procedure. Patients have reported a comfortable life post surgery.

Diseases can affect all parts of the body, internal or external, open or private. The bacteria, viruses and pathological processes do not give any differential treatment when they attack. Likewise, as patients, you must understand there is no shame in seeing a doctor when there is a problem in the reproductive organs. Just as you would seek advice for a swelling on the foot, you should seek advice for a swelling in the scrotum too.