Ask the Experts: When Should I Worry About a Swollen Testicle?
If you notice one of your testicles is swollen, it’s time to see your doctor. A swollen testicle can be caused by a number of health conditions. The good news is most are non-cancerous. Your doctor will examine your testicle to find the cause and decide how, if at all, it needs to be treated.
Swelling happens when fluid starts to build up around the testicle or in other parts of the scrotum (the sac around the testicles). Causes can include:
Injury to the testicle
Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
Hydrocele (fluid filled sac around the testicle)
Teen boys should start examining their testicles once a month. The best time to start the self-exam is during or right after a hot bath or shower.
Do the exam while standing. Gently feel the scrotal sac to find a testicle. Look for swelling in the scrotum. Check each testicle one at a time. Roll the testicle between the thumb and fingers of both hands to feel the whole surface.
You should be gentle, but firm. This will help you find any small (pea-size) hard lumps. Tell your doctor if you feel any lumps, swelling, pain or soreness or if you notice any other changes.
Dr. Anne Calvaresi is the chair of the Urology Care Foundation's Prostate Health Committee. She works in Philadelphia and specializes in urology and prostate health.
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