Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Lumps or Pain Within the Scrotum
There are several causes of painful swelling or lumps within the scrotum that are not related to the testis itself. Fortunately, it's rare for this to be a sign of a serious problem such as cancer.
The one problem that can be quite painful is epididymitis, an inflammation of the spermatic cord just as it exits from the testicle. Infection should be suspected. Usually the area is swollen and can feel like a lump.
The other causes of lumps or swelling in the scrotum cause a dull ache or no pain at all:
an epididymal cyst - a benign fluid filled swelling of the spermatic cord that feels like a lump. It is not inflamed so there is no pain or just minimal discomfort.
a hydrocele - a benign collection of fluid within the scrotum, often related to a defect or irritation of the lining in the scrotum or spermatic cord. The hydrocele may cause mild discomfort.
a varicocele - a dilated vein within the scrotum. They are common, occurring in about 15 percent of all men. A varicocele is much more likely to be felt on the left side of the scrotum compared to the right side. They can be associated with an ache in the scrotal area.
a hernia - an opening in the lowest part of the abdominal wall can occur that allows intestine or other abdominal structures to push through into the groin or scrotum. The swelling will usually be felt in the top part of the scrotum, near the groin.
Make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor is likely to be able to determine the cause of the scrotal swelling when he examines you. Sometimes an ultrasound may be necessary.
If you are feeling a swelling in the top part of the scrotum, you may have a hernia.