What is groin lump?

The groin includes the upper inner thigh and the indented area of the front of the body where the legs meet the trunk. Bulges or bumps in the groin can be small or large; they may grow or remain the same size; they may occur as a single lump or several lumps; they can be hard or soft, mobile or immobile, painful or asymptomatic. Some lumps turn red or purple while others remain flesh-colored. Many are covered by intact skin, but some can ulcerate or form other types of sores.

Groin lumps can have a variety of causes, including injury, allergy, infection, tumors and hernias. Trauma-related causes of lumps include bug bites or stings, localized collections of blood in the tissues (hematomas), and scar tissue. Rashes associated with allergies can cause multiple small, itchy lumps (ranging from nearly colorless to red) that can spread over the body or may be localized in an area such as the groin.

Localized infections can cause red lumps that are often painful, may be fluid-filled, and may ulcerate, break down, or leak pus or fluid. Infections of the genitals, leg or foot can also cause swelling of lymph nodes in the groin. Some sexually transmitted infections that are uncommon in the United States, such as chancroid and lymphogranuloma venereum, are associated with enlarged groin lymph nodes that drain through the skin. Granuloma inguinale is a rare sexually transmitted infection that causes lumpy sores that have a beefy red appearance and can slowly spread from the genital area to the groin.

Cysts and benign tumors such as lipomas (fatty tumors) can occur in the groin. Malignant tumors that cause lumps in the groin include cancers that originate in the lymph nodes (lymphomas) or spread to the lymph nodes from other cancer sites such as the testicles. Femoral and inguinal hernias can also cause lumps in the groin. Lumps from hernias may enlarge with increased abdominal pressure and may be reducible with gentle pressure.

Lumps that continue to grow or that are associated with infections can sometimes have serious complications. For example, portions of the intestines can slide through hernias where they can become trapped and strangulated. Immediate treatment is required to reduce the risk of bowel loss. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, such as inability to have bowel movements or pass gas, decreased or absent urine output, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), increased swelling with severe tenderness, severe abdominal or pelvic pain, severe nausea and vomiting, or weak pulse and pale skin or pallor.

If you develop a lump in the groin that is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with a groin lump?

A lump in your groin may accompany other symptoms, which can vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Groin lumps can be associated with symptoms related to multiple body systems.

Related localized symptoms that may occur along with a groin lump

A groin lump may be accompanied by other localized symptoms including:


What causes a groin lump?

Groin lumps have many possible causes, including injury, allergy, infection, tumors and hernias.

Traumatic causes of groin lumps

Groin lumps may be caused by minor or severe injuries and their complications including:

  • Hematoma (collection of blood in body tissues)
  • Scar tissue
  • Sting or bite injuries

Infe... Read more about groin lumpcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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