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Lumps, swelling & pain of the testicles & scrotum


Seek urgent medical help if you have sudden severe pain in your testicles or stomach. This could be a sign of a twisted testicle which needs urgent treatment.

Lumps and swelling in your testicles (balls) are fairly common and in most cases, the cause is not serious. But see your general practice team if you have:

Pain in the testicles can be caused an infection or the following possible causes.

Twisting of the testicle (testicular torsion)

Illustration showing a healthy testicle and one with a twisted spermatic cordThis is when a testicle has turned around in your scrotum. This can cause severe pain in your scrotum and lower abdomen. It can also cause nausea and swelling of your testicle.

Injury, exposure to cold temperatures and excessive exercise can all cause testicular torsion. Your doctor may be able to treat this by repositioning your testicle. In severe cases, you'll need surgery.


Epididymal cyst (spermatocele)

Illustration showing a healthy testicle and one with a cyst in the epididymisThis is a collection of fluid (called a cyst) inside your epididymis, which is the tube that stores and transports sperm. They're very common, usually painless and usually do not cause any problems.

If they get large, they can be uncomfortable. You may need surgery if you have a large cyst.



Illustration showing a healthy testicle and one with fluid in the scrotumThis is a collection of fluid in your scrotum that causes swelling. It's often painless and not dangerous. If it gets large, it can cause an ache or feeling of heaviness in your scrotum.

A hydrocele usually goes away by itself. But if it gets very large or painful, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the fluid.



Illustration showing a healthy testicle and one with enlarged veinsThis is a swelling of a vein or veins in your scrotum. It's caused by the valves in the veins not working properly and is similar to a varicose vein. You can have a varicocele in one or both testicles.

Often you have no symptoms. If you have problems such as aching or discomfort, the varicocele can be treated by embolization. This is a procedure that redirects the blood flow away from the varicocele.


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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2023.


See also:

Infection of the testicles (epididymo-orchitis)


Testicle & scrotum in boys

Page reference: 47530

Review key: HITSP-26704