Testicle Lump: Treatment, Causes, Diagnosis, and More

10 min read
Feb 27, 2024
Testicle Lump: Treatment, Causes, Diagnosis, and More

A testicle lump may result from what?

Testicle torsion, cysts, varicoceles, and other conditions are among the possible causes of testicle lumps. Testicle lumps may occasionally indicate testicle cancer.

Most tumors discovered in the testicles are not cancerous. The most common causes of testicle lumps include infections, fluid accumulation, and skin or vein enlargement.

However, determining the etiology of a lump at home is not feasible. One should always consult a doctor.

This article examines self-examination, potential causes of testicle lumps, and whether to visit a doctor. We also discuss diagnosis and therapy.


Typically, testicle lumps result in one or both testicles enlarging or changing in texture.

Testicle lumps may also be accompanied by other symptoms, depending on the underlying cause. These may include:

  • pain or discomfort
  • firmness or heaviness in the scrotum
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • difficulty urinating
  • abnormal discharge from the penis
  • darkening of the scrotum

Testicle lumps can occasionally be innocuous and unrelated to any other symptoms.

Still, it's critical to consult a doctor to identify the cause and the most appropriate course of action.

Causes and types

There are several reasons for lumps and swells on the skin surrounding or inside the testicles.


A cyst is a sac filled with fluid that, when touched, can have the texture of a small, hard lump. Cysts are generally benign growths that can appear practically anywhere on the body.

These cysts typically don't cause any symptoms. On the other hand, they could make you feel heavy or give you a dull scrotal discomfort.

Cysts rarely need to be treated, and there are no recognized risk factors for them. When cysts result in symptoms like pain, surgery could be suggested. This could result in transient edema.


A varicocele is a lumpy spot in the testicles that is brought on by enlarged veins. This is comparable to the formation of a varicose vein in a person's leg. What causes a varicocele is unknown.

Although the majority of varicocele sufferers show no symptoms, the condition can have negative effects like infertility and delayed testicular growth during puberty.

Varicoceles are thought to affect 15 to 20 men for every 100. Regardless of color, ethnicity, age, or place of birth, everyone can be impacted.


A hydrocele is a bulge that can result from fluid accumulating around a testicle.

This frequently occurs following an infection or trauma to this body part. Aside from swelling, which can affect one or both testicles, hydroceles are typically painless and exhibit no symptoms.

Even though they can happen to any age, low birth weight or breech babies are more likely to have hydroceles.

The following are a few potential hydroceles complications:

  • infection
  • atrophy of the testes
  • infertility
  • rupture
  • scrotal pyocele, or a fluid collection in the scrotal sac that is filled with pus
  • hemotocele, a scrotal sac collection of blood

Testicular torsion

Torsion of the testicles is a dangerous medical ailment that requires quick attention. This may occur if the cord that supplies blood to the testicles twists and becomes severed.

People with testicular torsion may also have the following symptoms in addition to testicular swelling:

  • severe pain
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • redness or darkening of the scrotum

Although it is rare, testicular torsion can afflict anyone. As a matter of fact, it affects only roughly 1 in 4,000 guys under 25.

Among the risk factors are:

  • trauma
  • having an undescended testicle
  • having a prior history of testicular torsion
  • the clapper malformation, which is the result of the testes not being attached to the scrotum after birth

If left untreated, testicular torsion can lead to infection, infertility, and atrophy, which is the shrinkage of the testicle. The testicle may occasionally sustain significant damage and require surgical removal.


The illness known as epididymitis can result in painful and enlarged epididymis swelling. The tube that houses and transports sperm behind each testicle is called the epididymis.

The swelling may have a lumpy feel to it. The skin surrounding the testicles may also be warm, tender, and painful in those with epididymitis.

Additional signs of epididymitis that may exist include:

  • difficulty urinating
  • discharge that is white, green, or yellow coming from the penis' tip
  • acute or progressive testicular discomfort in one or both

The sexually transmitted infection chlamydia is linked to epididymitis.

Additionally, a person may be more susceptible to epididymitis if they:

  • are uncircumcised
  • engage in sexual activity without the use of a barrier technique, such as a condom.
  • possess an enlarged prostate or another urinary tract structural defect
  • have recently had a medical treatment, such as catheter placement, that affects the prostate or urinary tract
  • possess a medical history of urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted diseases

Untreated epididymitis can result in infection, which can then lead to an abscess in the testicles or epididymal area. It might also raise the chance of sepsis or infertility, both of which are dangerous conditions.

Testicular cancer

One of the initial signs of testicular cancer may be a lump or bulge. The majority of tumors are painless.

Usually, the lump appears on the side or front of the testicle. Frequently, it will feel hard, and the testicle as a whole could feel firmer than usual. A lump may form just beneath the skin's surface or inside the testicle. It is possible for one testicle to enlarge or swell.

Additional signs and symptoms of testicular cancer could be:

  • increased testicular rigidity
  • a sensation of weight in the scrotum
  • scrotal or testicular pain that may or may not be constant

Testicular cancer risk can be elevated by a number of variables. These could consist of:

  • Cryptorchidism: When one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum before to birth, this disease develops. Compared to people with descending testicles, those with this disorder have an increased risk of acquiring testicular cancer.
  • Age: While testicular cancer can strike anyone at any age, the majority of cases involve those between the ages of 20 and 34.
  • Race: Compared to Black or Asian-American males, White men have a 4-to 5-fold increased risk of testicular cancer.
  • Family history: A increased risk may apply to those who have a family member with a history of testicular cancer. Furthermore, 3–4% of individuals with testicular cancer will eventually acquire cancer in the other testicle.

Testicular cancer is not a frequent malignancy, according to the American Cancer Society. Testicular cancer is a rare disease that affects just 1 in 250 men in their lives and has a 1 in 5,000 chance of fatality.

Reduction in fertility, difficulties ejaculating, and an elevated risk of heart disease after therapy are possible side effects of testicular cancer.

How to examine yourself for lumps

A key component of controlling health might be having a thorough understanding of the body and being conscious of any changes. Making ensuring any problems are treated as soon as feasible can be ensured by looking for any lumps or swelling in the testicles and, if necessary, consulting a doctor.

When a person is calm and their body is warm, it is ideal to perform a self-examination. This may make sensing anything out of the ordinary easier.

You can perform a testicular self-examination as follows:

  • take a position facing a mirror
  • check for any skin edema on the testicles
  • with the thumbs on top of the testicles, insert the first two fingers of each hand beneath the testicles
  • gently move each testicle between the thumbs and fingers to feel for any bumps

Monthly testicular examinations starting at adolescence can aid in the early detection of any medical issues.

When to see a doctor

It is best to consult a doctor right once if you discover a lump in your testicles. Without a medical evaluation, it can be challenging for an individual to determine the etiology of a lump.

If someone can recall any additional symptoms they may have had, that can be helpful. They can have had a testicular injury or an infection like chlamydia. Providing this information to a doctor can aid in the diagnosing process.


The patient's testicles will need to be examined by a doctor. To determine the reason behind the lump, testing could also be necessary.

The testicles will be examined and felt by the doctor. A light may also be shone through the skin to look for any potential fluid accumulation.

To examine the bulge, a doctor might prescribe an imaging study, such an ultrasound. An ultrasound creates an image of the inside of the body by using sound waves.


A person might not need therapy if they are not experiencing any pain or discomfort. If someone has a testicular lump, they should check it at home on a regular basis to be sure it hasn't gotten bigger or changed shape.

Cysts typically disappear on their own. Using a warm towel to the cyst may help reduce swelling if it hurts. A person may require medication to treat an infection that develops in a cyst.

A local anesthetic can be used by doctors to remove a cyst. Doctors typically advise against this, though, as cysts are not likely to result in health issues. Additionally, a cyst may recur in the same location.

It is unlikely that someone with a varicocele or hydrocele who is symptomless needs therapy. It is possible to remove or repair the fluid sac where a hydrocele has developed.

A varicocele sufferer may also think about having surgery. During the treatment, the enlarged veins' blood flow is cut off, causing the veins to shrink.

Antibiotics are typically used by doctors to treat underlying infections in cases of epididymitis. To reduce pain and swelling in the testicles, a person can apply a cold pack wrapped in cloth or take pain medicine.

If a testicular mass turns out to be malignant, the patient will require medical attention. Depending on the cancer's stage, different treatments will be administered.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used by doctors to either kill or inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Surgery can be required to remove a testicular lump. There may be instances where more than one treatment is required.

To identify cancer and stop it from spreading, a doctor might need to remove all or a portion of the testicle. Implants can frequently be used to replace the testicle. Because of the potential impact on fertility, sperm preservation and storage may be offered to an individual prior to surgery.


A testicular lump can have a number of causes, the majority of which are innocuous. It may not be necessary for someone who is not in pain or uncomfortable to receive treatment.

In rare cases, the lump might indicate testicular cancer. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery may need to be used in combination by medical professionals to treat this.

A doctor should always be consulted if a person discovers a lump in their testicles. Early detection of testicular cancer can be aided by routinely inspecting the testicles for lumps.

In brief

Testicular lumps can indicate a variety of disorders, many of which are benign and don't need to be treated.

It is crucial to consult a doctor to ascertain the reason of any tumor found in one or both testicles, as it may indicate testicular cancer or other dangerous illnesses.

Monitoring any changes in the size or form of the testicles and regularly checking oneself for lumps can also aid in identifying problems early and preventing complications.

FAQ about Testicle Lump

What can cause a lump in the testicle?

There are several possible causes for a testicular lump, including:

  • Cysts: Fluid-filled sacs that are usually harmless and painless.
  • Varicoceles: Enlarged veins in the scrotum that feel like a lumpy mass.
  • Hydroceles: A buildup of fluid around the testicle that causes swelling.
  • Testicular torsion: A twisted spermatic cord that cuts off blood flow to the testicle, requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Epididymitis: Inflammation of the epididymis, the tube that stores sperm, often caused by an infection.
  • Testicular cancer: Less common, but a possible cause of a lump.

Are all testicular lumps cancerous?

No, most testicular lumps are not cancerous. However, it is crucial to see a doctor to determine the cause of any lump, as early detection of testicular cancer is essential.

What are the symptoms of a testicular lump?

The main symptom of a testicular lump is a lump or swelling in one or both testicles. Other symptoms may vary depending on the cause and may include:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Firmness or heaviness in the scrotum
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Abnormal discharge from the penis
  • Darkening of the scrotum

When should I see a doctor about a testicular lump?

You should see a doctor immediately if you discover a lump in your testicles. They can diagnose the cause of the lump and recommend the appropriate treatment.

How is a testicular lump diagnosed?

A doctor will likely examine your testicles and may order tests such as an ultrasound to get a better image of the lump.

How is a testicular lump treated?

Treatment for a testicle lump depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary. Other conditions may be treated with medication, surgery, or other methods.

What is the outlook for someone with a testicular lump?

The outlook for someone with a testicular lump depends on the cause. Most lumps are benign and have a good prognosis. However, early detection and treatment of testicular cancer are crucial for a better outcome.

How can I prevent testicular lumps?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent testicular lumps. However, regular self-examination of your testicles can help you detect any changes early and seek medical advice promptly.


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