What is spermatocele?
A spermatocele (also known as a spermatic cyst or an epididymal cyst) is a sperm-filled cyst in the tightly coiled tube that sits behind and above the testicles. It feels like a smooth, firm lump on top of the testicle in the scrotum (the sack under the penis, houses the testicles).
How common are spermatocele?
Approximately a third of men have small spermatoceles. As men age so does the likelihood of spermatoceles occurring.
What causes spermatocele?
The majority of spermatoceles are likely a result of injury or inflammation within the scrotum. A spermatocele may also be caused by a blockage in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis.
What are the symptoms of spermatocele?
Most men don’t have any symptoms but the most common symptoms of a hydrocele include:
- Heaviness in the scrotum
- A smooth, firm lump on top of the testicle
- A feeling of pressure at the base of the penis
- Mild pain in the scrotum
If you notice any changes in your testicles make sure to monitor them regularly and visit a doctor immediately if there is no improvement.
How are spermatoceles diagnosed?
Spermatoceles can be found through self-examination while checking for testicular cancer. It will feel like a smooth, firm lump on top of the testicle in the scrotum (the sac under the penis that houses the testicles).
If you keep up to date on your regular physical exams a doctor is likely to notice it. 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.
A doctor may also choose to do an ultrasound to make sure there are no further complications. For best protection be sure to do regular self-checks and have routine physical exams by a doctor.
How are spermatoceles treated?
In most cases spermatoceles treatment is not necessary. However, spermatoceles are treated when men are in constant pain, if the scrotum is extremely swollen, or there is a risk to the penis or testicles. If the spermatocele gets bigger or is causing discomfort a doctor may choose to remove it through a procedure called a spermatocelectomy.