Can a varicocele cause poor development?

Last updated on October 4, 2020


I’m a 14-year-old boy. For over a year, I noticed something wormy on my left testicle. A few months ago, I searched it on the Internet and learned it was a varicocele. It does not hurt. I concluded that it is not a big deal and does not matter in any way.

I again searched about it today and learned that it can affect our puberty, fertility, height, and whatnot. I can connect all these effects to my life. My height is very short (I am the shortest in my class), my voice hasn’t changed, my growth spurt hasn’t happened, my penis is very small, etc. When I masturbate no white ejaculate comes out, it’s only transparent.

I’m a little shy about telling my parents, and it feels strange to talk about testis, penis, and all that to one’s parents. Do all these things have something connected to varicoceles? if yes, what should I do? If not, what should I do to increase my height and fertility?

When I got my bone age checked about two years ago, I was found to be younger than my actual age.

Please help me.


A varicocele means that valves in some of your veins in your scrotum are not functioning well. This allows blood to pool in the veins, causing them to swell. This is what you are feeling beside your left testicle. It generally becomes a concern if the swelling becomes so much that you feel pain. That usually indicates that the veins are stretching too far. In such a case surgery would be needed to correct the problem.

A secondary possible problem is that since the testicles need to be a few degrees cooler than the rest of your body to produce sperm efficiently, the extra blood nearby might cause the testicles to be too warm. I found studies that indicated that the larger the varicocele, the more likely it would impact growth, but these deal with boys with varicoceles on both sides of their scrotums.

Since yours is only on one side and it sounds like it isn’t large, it should not be impacting your development, but the best person to ask about that would be your doctor. Even if the varicocele was impacting one testicle, you still have the second one.

From your description, it sounds to me that you are just later than average in developing. We call that a late bloomer. My guess is that you are in stage 2 from the few things that you’ve mentioned about yourself. You can use the Tanner Stage Calculator for Boys to get a better estimate of where you are in your development.