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HealthInfo Canterbury

Testicular & scrotal problems in boys

A boy's testicles are two small egg-shaped organs that sit inside his scrotum. The medical term for testicles is testes (or testis when taking about only one).

The spermatic cord is like a long and flexible tube that goes from each testicle to inside the boy's tummy (abdomen). It contains the blood vessels that take blood to and from the testicle, and the vas deferens, which takes sperm from a boy's testicles to his penis once he's reached puberty.

A boy can usually feel the spermatic cord through the skin of his scrotum, just above his testicle. It feels like a thick piece of string.

A structure called the epididymis, which is where sperm is stored, is at the top and back of each testicle.

Several conditions can cause sudden pain in a boy's scrotum. If this happens, it's a medical emergency.

Boys also sometimes get lumps in their scrotum. Usually these are harmless lumps like hydroceles. Less often a lump can be caused by an inguinal hernia.

Written by paediatric surgeon, Canterbury DHB. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2018.

In this section

Sudden (acute) scrotum pain in boys

Hydrocele

Page reference: 309438

Review key: HITSP-309438