Swelling of the scrotum; Testicular enlargement
Scrotal swelling is abnormal enlargement of the scrotum. This is the name for the sac surrounding the testicles.
Scrotal swelling can occur in males at any age. The swelling can be on one or both sides, and there may be pain. The testicles and penis may or may not be involved.
In testicular torsion, the testicle becomes twisted in the scrotum and loses its blood supply. It is a serious emergency. If this twisting is not relieved quickly, the testicle may be permanently and completely damaged. This condition is extremely painful. Call 911 or the local emergency number, or see your health care provider immediately. Losing blood supply for just a few hours can cause tissue death and the loss of a testicle.
Causes of scrotal swelling include:
Things you can do to help this problem include:
Contact your provider if:
Your provider will perform a physical exam and take a medical history, which may include the following questions:
The physical exam will include a detailed exam of the scrotum, testicles, and penis. The combination of a physical exam and history will determine whether you need any tests.
Your provider may prescribe antibiotics and pain medicines, or recommend surgery. A scrotal ultrasound may be done to find where the swelling is occurring.
Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 560.
Germann CA. Urologic disorders. In: Walls RM, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 85.
Kryger JV, Jarosz SL. Acute and chronic scrotal swelling. In: Kliegman RM, Toth H, Bordini BJ, Basel D, eds. Nelson Pediatric Symptom-Based Diagnosis. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 24.
Palmer LS, Palmer JS. Management of abnormalities of the external genitalia in boys. In: Partin AW, Domochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 44.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/1/2023
Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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