Testicle swelling is an enlargement of one or both testicles. You may notice swelling when there is local inflammation of the testicle specifically, or more general swelling of the scrotum (the pouch of skin which holds the testicles), and the other structures inside. Testicle swelling or scrotal swelling can be caused by injury or various medical conditions and diseases, including fluid buildup and infections like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).1
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Testicle swelling can develop quickly or over time. It can be painless, or it can occur with different levels of testicular pain and other symptoms. If you have testicular swelling along with pain that is sudden and severe, you should seek immediate medical attention because it may be a sign of testicular torsion, a medical emergency that can cause serious damage or even loss of the affected testicle.
Symptoms that may accompany swollen testicles include:
Causes of Swollen Testicles Include:
In general, if you notice swelling in your testicles and it worries you, it’s a good idea to get a physical examination by a doctor and get tested accordingly. If the swelling doesn’t go away or if it is uncomfortable or painful, it can be a sign that you have something that may require medical attention. Even if you feel no pain, it can still be an issue. A firm, swollen testicle accompanied by no pain can be a warning sign of cancer.
To determine the root of testicular swelling, a doctor examines your testicles for size and positioning, and checks for swelling and tenderness. They may shine a light (transillumination) to check for solid masses, which block light, unlike fluid-filled masses. They may ask questions about your symptoms and your medical and sexual history, and order blood and urine tests or imaging tests, such as a testicular ultrasound.
If you notice testicle swelling and believe you may have been exposed to an STD— especially after an unprotected and/or risky sexual encounter—getting tested helps you know for sure where your sexual health stands. You can get tested quickly and easily without the hassle of a doctor’s appointment by ordering STD testing online and visiting one of our convenient lab locations.
Treatment of testicle swelling or scrotal swelling depends on the underlying cause. While certain conditions that cause testicle swelling may not require treatment, others call for extensive treatment.
Depending on the cause as determined examination, testing, or imaging, treatment may consist of:
Ignoring testicular swelling can lead to health complications. Depending on the cause, untreated swollen testicles could impact your ability to make normal levels of testosterone, or lower fertility, making it harder to father children. Routinely performing self-exams and paying attention to the look and feel of your testicles can help you notice subtle changes, which can alert you to potential testicular problems.
For testicular or scrotal swelling, it’s important to seek medical advice as needed. If you notice something is amiss, don’t brush it off. Get real answers and support by talking to your doctor. If you think you have been exposed to an STD, get tested to verify your health status, either to identify infection or rule it out as a cause of testicular swelling. With early diagnosis and the right treatment, many causes of swelling in the scrotum or testicles have a generally good outlook.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on February 17, 2020Written by Taysha on January 31, 2020
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