What is spermatocele?


Spermatocele: Overview

A spermatocele is a collection of sperm in the scrotum that forms a lump. These lumps are common and are more likely to form as a man gets older. They do not turn into cancer.

Doctors don't know what causes them. A blockage in the tube that carries sperm through the scrotum can cause sperm to collect. The blockage can be caused by an injury to the scrotum or an infection. But most of the time, the cause is not found.

You may not need any treatment. But if the lump is large or painful, you may have surgery to remove it. Or your doctor may remove the fluid from the lump. And in some cases, after removing the fluid, your doctor may put medicine into where the fluid was taken out. This helps to keep fluid from building up again.

What are the symptoms of a spermatocele?

Often a spermatocele does not cause symptoms. There may be an extra lump or mass above the testicle on one side of your scrotum. Or you may notice enlargement of your scrotum. Symptoms, when present, can include pain, swelling, or redness of the scrotum or pressure at the base of the penis.

How is a spermatocele treated?

A spermatocele is not usually dangerous and is treated only if it grows larger or causes pain or other problems. Treatment is not usually needed if a spermatocele does not change in size or gets smaller as the body reabsorbs the fluid.

If the spermatocele gets larger or causes discomfort, a procedure to remove the spermatocele (spermatocelectomy) may be needed.

How is a spermatocele diagnosed?

A spermatocele is usually diagnosed by examining the scrotum. Your doctor may shine a light behind each testicle (transillumination) to check for other problems. You may also get an ultrasound.

How can you care for yourself when you have spermatocele?

Learn how to check your testicles so you can see if the lump changes. This can also help you find a spermatocele that comes back after treatment. If you are having pain, talk to your doctor.

What causes a spermatocele?

Although the cause of a spermatocele is often unknown, it may be caused by obstruction of the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles (epididymal ducts).

What is a spermatocele?

A spermatocele (epididymal cyst) is a fluid-filled cyst in the long, tightly coiled tube that lies above and behind each testicle (epididymis). It feels like a smooth, firm lump in the scrotum on top of the testicle. Having a spermatocele doesn't affect fertility.

Spermatocele: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have bleeding or discharge from your penis.
  • Your urine is cloudy or smells bad.
  • You have pain in your pubic area.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.