Testicle Lump

Written by Brian Krans | Published on September 10, 2012
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD on September 10, 2012

What Is a Testicular Lump?

A testicular lump is an abnormal mass in the testicles. The testicles are—the egg-shaped male reproductive glands. They hang below the penis in a sac called the scrotum. Their primary function is to produce sperm and testosterone.

A testicular mass, or lump, may be located in one or both testicles, and is a fairly common condition. Lumps can occur in both men and teenage boys. Testicular lumps are signs of problems with the testicles. They may be caused by an injury, but they can also indicate a serious underlying medical problem.

Not all lumps indicate the presence of testicular cancer. Nevertheless, a medical professional should examine any changes in the testicles, especially lumps or swelling. Men over the age of 14 should do monthly testicle self-examination to help spot any lumps early so that they can be properly examined and treated.

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Types and Causes of Testicular Lumps

Most testicle lumps occur because of an injury. However, birth defects and other factors can also cause lumps in the testicles.

Varicocele

This type of lump is the most common, occurring in about one in every seven men. Enlarged veins in the testicles cause varicocele lumps. They become more noticeable after puberty when blood flow increases in the fully developed testicles.

Hydrocele

A hydrocele testicular lump is caused by the buildup of fluid in the testicles. This type of testicular lump occurs in one to two out of every 100 newborn males.

Epididymal Cyst

An epididymal cyst or spermatocele occurs when the long, coiled tube behind the testicles (epididymis) becomes filled with fluid and cannot drain.  If it contains sperm, it is known as a spermatocele.