What causes enlarged testicle?
Enlarged testicle is a common symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. Testicle enlargement results from swelling of the soft tissues, a lump, or a cyst within the testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of an enlarged testicle.
Depending on the cause, enlargement may occur in one or both testicles, and it may be accompanied by pain, swelling or fever. Infections of the epididymis or testes can cause enlarged testicles. In rare cases, enlargement of the testicle is a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition commonly associated with a painless lump.
Common causes of an enlarged testicle
An enlarged testicle may have other causes including:
- Cancer of the testicle
- Epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis)
- Inguinal hernia, which may be mistaken for an enlarged testicle
- Mumps (viral infection that can cause inflammation of the testicle)
- Orchitis (inflammation of the testicle)
- Scrotal sac infection
- Spermatocele (cyst in the scrotum)
- Testicular torsion (acute emergency)
- Trauma or injury
- Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele), which may appear as an enlarged testicle
Serious or life-threatening causes of an enlarged testicle
In some cases, an enlarged testicle may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting, such as testicular torsion, a condition in which blood supply to the testicle is compromised (irreversible damage after 12 hours).
Questions for diagnosing the cause of an enlarged testicle
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your enlarged testicle including:
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Do you have discharge from your penis?
- Do you have any lumps in your testicle?
- Do you have pain with urination?
- Do you have blood in your semen?
- Do you have symptoms in one or both testicles?
- Have you recently injured your testicle?
- What medications are you taking?
- When did you first notice your enlarged testicle?
What are the potential complications of an enlarged testicle?
Because an enlarged testicle can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Infarction of the testicular tissue
- Scrotal abscess
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
- Testicle removal
- Testicle pain. MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003160.htm.
- Testicle lump. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003162.htm.
- Domino FJ (Ed.) Five Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.
- Tierney LM Jr., Saint S, Whooley MA (Eds.) Current Essentials of Medicine (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
What is an enlarged testicle?
An enlarged testicle is a common symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. Testicle enlargement results from swelling, a lump, or a cyst within the testicle. Other conditions that cause swelling in the scrotum may appear to be an enlarged testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of enlarged testicle, and inflammation of the testicle for any reason can also cause swelling. Depe... Read more about enlarged testicleintroduction
What other symptoms might occur with enlarged testicle?
An enlarged testicle may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the testicle may also involve other body systems.