Men’s Health Conditions

Hydrocele

Hydrocele

WHAT IS HYDROCELE?

A hydrocele testis is when there is an accumulation of fluid around a testicle in the scrotum.

Before birth, the testicles drop from the abdomen into the scrotum. After the testicle has dropped, the path it took from the abdomen will close. In some, this channel remains open and fluid is able to surround the testicle causing a hydrocele.

In most cases hydroceles do not cause any symptoms. Treatment may be necessary if you are experiencing pain or extreme swelling. 

RISK FACTORS

Hydroceles are fairly common in newborns. Most hydroceles disappear naturally in a boy’s first year of life.

Older males can also develop a hydrocele, typically as a result of injury or inflammation within the scrotum.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

In most men a hydrocele doesn’t cause any symptoms. When symptoms appear, the most common include:

If you notice any changes in your testicles make sure to monitor them regularly and visit a doctor immediately if there is no improvement.

diagnosis

A doctor will be able to determine if a hydrocele is present through a physical examination. As part of the exam, your doctor may shine a light behind each testicle to check for solid masses that may be caused by other problems.

For best protection be sure to do regular self-checks and have routine physical exams by a doctor.

TREATMENT

In most cases hydroceles treatment is not necessary. However, hydroceles are treated when men are in constant pain, if the scrotum is extremely swollen, or there is a risk to the penis or testicles.

Fluid can be removed with a needle however this tends to be a temporary fix and the fluid is likely to return. Surgery can be performed to remove the fluid and close up the source of the fluid flow to the testicle by a process called a hydrocelectomy.

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Last updated: Jan 23, 2024