Men’s Health Conditions

Spermatocele

Medically reviewed by:

Dr. Larry Goldenberg
Dr. Larry Goldenberg

CM, OBC, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS

Spermatocele

WHAT IS SPERMATOCELE?

A spermatocele is a sperm-filled cyst that develops in the tightly coiled tube above the testicles that collects and transports sperm. It feels like a smooth, firm lump on top of the testicle in the scrotum (the sack under the penis that houses the testicles).

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

RISK FACTORS

Approximately a third of men have small spermatoceles and the likelihood of developing them increases with age. 

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.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

In most men, spermatoceles don’t cause any symptoms. When symptoms appear, the most common include:

Some of the common risk factors for developing colorectal cancer 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

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).

A doctor can also identify them in a physical exam and may choose to do an ultrasound to make sure there are no further complications.

TREATMENT

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.

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Last updated: Jan 23, 2024

Medically reviewed by:

Dr. Larry Goldenberg

Dr. Larry Goldenberg, CM, OBC, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FCAHS

Dr. Goldenberg is a urologic surgeon and clinical scientist, who specializes in prostate cancer research and treatment.

More about Dr. Larry Goldenberg