What is a testicular mass?
The testicles are part of the male reproductive system that produces sperm and testosterone. A mass or swelling may develop in one or both testicles due to injury, birth defect, fluid collection, infection or testicular cancer.
What does a testicular mass indicate?
A testicular mass may indicate one of the following problems:
- Varicocele: Enlarged veins around the testicle
- Hydrocele: Fluid collection around the testicle
- Testicular torsion: Twisting of the cords that suspend the testicles, which may cut off blood supply to the testis
- Epididymal condition: Swelling in the epididymis (coiled tube behind the testicle), either by a sexually transmitted disease, infection, or the entrapment of fluid (cyst) or sperm (spermatocele)
- Inguinal hernia: A bulge that forms when a part of your intestine protrudes into your scrotum through a weak spot in the abdominal wall
- Testicular cancer: Usually a painless persistent lump that can be cancerous
What are the symptoms of a testicular mass?
The symptoms of a testicular mass depend on the underlying condition. Testicular torsions are usually painful, with fever, nausea, vomiting and frequent urination, while the other conditions may either be painless, or associated with dull pain in the abdomen or groin. Often, the affected testicle feels heavier than the other.
How is a testicular mass diagnosed?
When you present with a testicular mass, your doctor will review your history and examine your testicles. An ultrasound, blood tests or urine tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.