Scrotal Swelling

Scrotal swelling may occur on one or both sides of the scrotum. Pain may also occur with swelling. Early evaluation with your caregiver and treatment is important.

CAUSES

  • Injury.

  • Infection.

  • An ingrown hair or abrasion in the area.

  • Repeated rubbing from tight-fitting underwear.

  • Poor hygiene.

  • A weakened area in the muscles around the groin (hernia). A hernia can allow abdominal contents to push into the scrotum.

  • Fluid around the testicle (hydrocele).

  • Enlarged vein around the testicle (varicocele).

  • Certain medical treatments or existing conditions.

  • A recent genital surgery or procedure.

  • The spermatic cord becomes twisted in the scrotum, which cuts off blood supply (testicular torsion).

  • Testicular cancer. 

DIAGNOSIS

A physical exam and medical history may be performed. You will be asked questions about recent activity and where and when the swelling began. Further tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis, such as an imaging test (ultrasound or MRI).

TREATMENT

Treatment will depend on the cause of the swelling. Treatment may include:

  • Self care (rest, ice, limiting activity, scrotal support).

  • Pain medicine.

  • Taking medicines to treat an infection.

  • Surgery or help from a specialist (urologist).

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Rest and limit activity until the swelling goes away. Lying down is the preferred position.

  • Put ice on the scrotum.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day for 1 to 2 days.

  • Place a rolled towel under the testicles for support.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing or an athletic support cup for comfort.

  • Take all medicines as directed by your caregiver.

  • Perform a monthly self-exam of the scrotum and penis. Feel for changes. Ask your caregiver how to perform a monthly self-exam if you are unsure.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent injury or infection that can lead to swelling:

  • Wear an athletic support and protective cup during sports activities.

  • Practice safe sex. Wear condoms.

  • Follow all of your caregiver's recommendations after a surgical procedure. Discuss appropriate time frames for healing and bedrest with your surgeon.

  • Get vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR).

  • Use good body mechanics during activity and when lifting heavy objects.  Avoid bearing down or straining.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow. Always empty the bladder completely when urinating to avoid infection.

Finding out the results of your test

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have a sudden (acute) onset of pain that is persistent and not improving.

  • You notice a heavy feeling or fluid in the scrotum.

  • You have pain or burning while urinating.

  • You have blood in the urine or semen.

  • You feel a lump around the testicle.

  • You notice that one testicle is larger than the other (slight variation is normal).

  • You have a persistent dull ache or pain in the groin or scrotum.

  • You need instruction on performing a monthly self-exam.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • The pain does not go away or becomes severe.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have pain or vomiting that cannot be controlled.

  • You notice significant redness or swelling of one or both sides of the scrotum.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.