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How are Hydroceles or Hernias Diagnosed?

Your health care provider will often ask about your health history, conduct a physical exam, and may use imaging tests (like ultrasound) to look closer. He or she may:

  • apply pressure to the abdomen and scrotum to check for tenderness and an inguinal hernia.
  • ask you to cough to see how the bulge changes in your groin or abdomen with pressure
  • shine a light through the scrotum (transillumination) to look for fluid. If you have a hydrocele, this test will show the presence of clear fluid surrounding the testicle.
  • conduct an ultrasound or x-ray to see whether or not there is a hernia, testicular tumor or other cause of scrotal swelling

To look further, your health care provider might recommend blood and urine tests to check if there is an infection.