This consists of an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum above the testicle of the male, on the left side in most cases. The large veins feel more like a bunch of earthworms than anything else. If they cause no discomfort they may be entirely neglected and are not of the slightest consequence. Even when they produce trouble it is chiefly imaginary, in most instances, since they are a common source of worry in young men in case of any irregularities in the sexual functions. Advantage is taken of this fact by quacks, who find it for their profit to advertise all sorts of horrible and impossible results of the condition. The testicle on the diseased side may become smaller than its fellow, but in few cases does any serious consequence result from varicocele. Pain in the hollow of the back may be the only symptom of varicocele in cases where there are any symptoms. A dragging pain in the groin, a pain in the testicles and about the rectum and in the bladder may cause complaint.

Causes. Varicocele occurs usually in young, unmarried men and often disappears of itself in later life. Undue sexual excitement may produce the condition.

Treatment. When any treatment is necessary, the application of a snugly fitting suspensory bandage which can be procured at any good drug shop and bathing the testicles night and morning in cold water, with the avoidance of constipation and of the cause noted, will be generally sufficient to relieve any discomfort arising from varicocele. The enlargement of the veins will not, of course, be altered by this treatment, and absolute cure can only be effected by a surgical removal of the veins, which is not a serious undertaking, but is rarely necessary.