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Scrotal swelling

Swelling of the scrotum; Testicular enlargement

Scrotal swelling is abnormal enlargement of the scrotum. This is the name for the sac surrounding the testicles.

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Male reproductive anatomy

Considerations

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 lost. 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

Causes of scrotal swelling include:

Home Care

Things you can do to help this problem include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will perform a physical exam and take a medical history, which may include the following questions:

The physical exam will most likely 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.

Related Information

Testicular torsion
Scrotum
Testicle lump

References

Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 545.

Germann CA, Holmes JA. Selected urologic disorders. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 89.

Kryger JV. Acute and chronic scrotal swelling. In: Kliegman RM, Lye SP, Bordini BJ, Toth H, Basel D, eds. Nelson Pediatric Symptom-Based Diagnosis. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 21.

Palmer LS, Palmer JS. Management of abnormalities of the external genitalia in boys. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 146.

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Review Date: 1/31/2019  

Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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