Testicle Lump

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Was this helpful?
13

What is a testicle lump?

A testicle lump can be a symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. A testicle lump can result from swelling of the tissues or a cyst within the testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of a testicle lump. If there is injury or inflammation, the lump may be accompanied by pain, swelling or fever. Testicular torsion may lead to a lump in the testicle, which is associated with lightheadedness, nausea with or without vomiting, and pain. Depending on the cause, a testicle lump may occur in one or both testicles, but more commonly occurs in one testicle at a time.

Infections of the epididymis or the testicle are common causes of a testicle lump. A scrotal cyst (spermatocele) or varicose veins (varicocele) can result in a testicle lump. In rare cases, a testicle lump may be a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition most commonly associated with a painless lump. The viral infection mumps can lead to a testicle lump along with other symptoms, such as swollen salivary glands, sore throat, and fever. An inguinal hernia, in which abdominal contents protrude into the groin, can be mistaken for a testicle lump. The goal of the clinical evaluation is to identify the cause of the testicle lump.

In some cases, a testicle lump can be a sign of a serious condition called testicular torsion. Seek imme diate medical care (call 911) for the sudden onset of severe pain and swelling in the testicle, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Seek prompt medical care if you notice gradual enlargement of the testicle, discomfort, or redness.

What other symptoms might occur with a testicle lump?

A testicle lump may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Frequently, symptoms that affect the testicle may also involve other body systems.

Scrotum symptoms that may occur along with a testicle lump

A testicle lump may accompany scrotum symptoms including:

  • Dilated blood vessels in the scrotum
  • Pain or a dull aching feeling in the scrotum
  • Scrotum that feels swollen or heavy
  • Swelling, redness or warmth of the scrotum

Other symptoms that may occur along with a testicle lump

A testicle lump may be accompanied by symptoms that are related to other systems including:

  • Abdominal pain or pressure
  • Blood present in semen
  • Breast area changes, such as tenderness or enlargement
  • Difficult or painful urination, or burning with urination (dysuria)
  • Discharge or pus from the end of the penis
  • Fever
  • Groin swelling and pain
  • Pain associated with ejaculation

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, a testicle lump can be a sign of a serious condition called testicular torsion. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have these serious symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Sudden severe pain in the testicle, which may be accompanied by swelling of one side of the scrotum

What causes a testicle lump?

A testicle lump is a common symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. Testicle enlargement results from swelling of the tissues, a lump, or a cyst within the testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of testicle lump.

A testicle lump may occur in one or both testicles and it may be accompanied by pain, swelling or fever. Infections of the epididymis or testes can cause enlarged testicles. In rare cases, enlargement of the testicle is a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition commonly associated with a painless lump.

Common causes of testicle lump

A testicle lump may often have other causes including:

  • Cancer of the testicle

  • Epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis)

  • Hydrocele

  • Inguinal hernia, which may be mistaken for a testicle lump

  • Mumps (viral infection that can cause inflammation of the testicle)

  • Orchitis (inflammation of the testicle)

  • Scrotal sac infection

  • Spermatocele (cyst in the scrotum)

  • Testicular torsion

  • Trauma or injury

  • Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele), which may appear as an enlarged testicle

Serious or life-threatening causes of testicle lump

In some cases, a testicle lump may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting, such as testicular torsion, in which the blood supply to the testicle is compromised.

Questions for diagnosing the cause of testicle lump

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your testicle lump including:

  • Do you have any other symptoms?
  • Do you have discharge from your penis?
  • Do you have pain with urination?
  • Is there blood present in your semen?
  • Have you recently injured your testicle?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • When did you first notice the testicle lump?

What are the potential complications of testicle lump?

Because testicle lump can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

  • Adverse effects of treatment
  • Infarction of the testicular tissue
  • Infertility
  • Scrotal abscess
  • Spread of cancer
  • Spread of infection
  • Testicle removal
Was this helpful?
13
Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 8
View All Men's Health Articles
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Genital problems in men. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom/genital-problems-men.html.
  2. Testicle lump. MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003162.htm.
  3. Sandlow J. Pathogenesis and treatment of varicoceles. BMJ 2004; 328:967.
  4. Ulbright TM. The most common, clinically significant misdiagnoses in testicular tumor pathology, and how to avoid them. Adv Anat Pathol 2008; 15:18.