Infertility refers to an inability to conceive after having regular unprotected sex. Infertility can also refer to the biological inability of an individual to contribute to conception, or to a female who cannot carry a pregnancy to full term. In many countries, infertility refers to a couple that has failed to conceive after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without the use of contraception.
Most varicoceles are asymptomatic. However, they can be uncomfortable and cause scrotal pain. This pain is generally mild to moderate, occurs with long periods of sitting, standing, or activity, and is relieved by lying down. Although it can be uncomfortable before bedtime (after a long day of activity), it generally does not occur upon awakening after a night’s rest. The pain is dull, congestive‚ “toothache” like, and generally doesn’t refer elsewhere. It is not associated with urination issues or erectile dysfunction; however, it is associated with male infertility. Lastly, when large, a varicocele can cause a clumpy “bag of worms” feel in the scrotum and can be bothersome for this reason as well.