Testicular lumps and swellings are quite common and can affect males of any age.
A swollen testicle or a lump in your testicle isn’t usually a sign of a serious condition. However, it should always be checked by your GP as it can be a symptom of an underlying condition. In most cases, testicular lumps and swellings can be successfully treated.
Common causes of swollen, enlarged testicles include:
If you’re experiencing agonising testicle pain, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain and your scrotum is swollen and tender, call 999 immediately. You may have a testicular torsion (twisted testicle), a very serious condition that’s most common in young males aged 10–20.
Most lumps in testicles are epididymal cysts, which are most likely to develop when you’re middle-aged. An epididymal cyst is a small swelling in the epididymis which can cause testicle pain and a sensation of heaviness.
A swelling or lump on a testicle is the most common symptom of testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is rare and is most likely to affect men in their early 30s. If you spot any change in the look or feel of your testicles, see your GP as soon as possible.
If you have a lump in your testicles, an enlarged testicle or a sore testicle, make an appointment with your GP.
Your GP will examine your testicles and may shine a light onto your scrotum to check for excess fluid. If your GP suspects you have a hernia, they may ask you to cough. Your GP may also refer you for other investigations, such as blood tests, urine tests or an ultrasound scan.
Following diagnosis, your GP may refer you to a consultant, such as a urologist, or to a genito-urinary medicine clinic.
If the swelling or lump isn’t causing you any problems or testicle pain, treatment may not be required. Warm baths may help reduce swollen testicles. In addition, taking over-the-counter painkillers and wearing supportive underpants may relieve testicle pain.
The treatment your GP or consultant recommends will depend on the cause of the lump or swelling affecting your testicle. If you’re diagnosed with a serious condition, such as testicular cancer, your doctor will arrange the necessary treatment. If an infection is causing your enlarged testicle or your sore testicle, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
If you have troublesome varicoceles, your doctor may suggest surgery to reduce the swelling or remove the affected veins. A hydrocele can be surgically drained while an inguinal hernia can be repaired with a straightforward surgical procedure. Occasionally, surgery may be recommended to remove the lump on a testicle caused by an epididymal cyst.