What causes swollen testes?
Swollen testes 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 swollen testes.
Depending on the cause, swelling may occur in one or both testicles and it may be accompanied by pain or fever. Inflammations and infections such as epididymitis or orchitis can cause enlarged testicles. In rare cases, enlargement of the testicle is a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition that is commonly associated with a painless lump.
Common causes of swollen testes
Swollen testes may be caused by any of the following conditions:
- 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
- Trauma or injury
- Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele), which may appear as an enlarged testicle
Serious or life-threatening causes of swollen testes
In some cases, swollen testes may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. It may be a sign of testicular torsion, a condition in which the blood supply to the testicle is compromised.
Questions for diagnosing the cause of swollen testes
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your swollen testicles including:
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Do you have blood in your semen?
- Do you have discharge from your penis?
- Do you have a lump in your testicle?
- Do you have pain with urination?
- 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 swollen testes?
What are the potential complications of swollen testes?
Because a swollen 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. Accessed June 4, 2011.
Hydrocele. MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000518.htm. Accessed June 4, 2011.
What are swollen testes?
Swollen testes are 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 swollen testes, and inflammation of the testicle for any reason can cause swelling. Depending on... Read more about swollen testes introduction
What other symptoms might occur with swollen testes?
Swollen testes may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Frequently, symptoms that affect the testicles may also involve other body systems.... Read more about swollen testes symptoms