Definition

What is a spermatocele?

A spermatocele (epididymal cyst) is a painless, fluid-filled cyst in the long, tightly coiled tube that lies above and behind each testicle (epididymis). The fluid in the cyst may contain sperm that are no longer alive. It feels like a smooth, firm lump in the scrotum on top of the testicle.

Having a spermatocele doesn’t affect a man’s fertility.

How common is a spermatocele?

Spermatoceles, sometimes called spermatic cysts, are common. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of a spermatocele?

The common symptoms of spermatocele are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the testicle with the spermatocele
  • A mass, or fullness, behind and above the testicle

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes a spermatocele?

Although the cause of a spermatocele is often unknown, it may be caused by obstruction of the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles (epididymal ducts).

Risk factors

What increases my risk for a spermatocele?

There aren’t many known risk factors for developing a spermatocele, except for increasing age. Spermatoceles are most often found in men between the ages of 20 and 50.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is a spermatocele diagnosed?

A spermatocele is usually diagnosed by examining the scrotum. As part of the exam, your doctor will shine a light behind each testicle (transillumination) to check for solid masses that may be caused by other problems, such as cancer of the testicle. Spermatoceles are filled with fluid, so light will shine through them (transillumination). Light will not pass through solid masses that may be caused by other problems, such as cancer of the testicle. An ultrasound may be used to confirm the diagnosis of a spermatocele.

How is a spermatocele treated?

A spermatocele is usually diagnosed by examining the scrotum. As part of the exam, your doctor will shine a light behind each testicle (transillumination) to check for solid masses that may be caused by other problems, such as cancer of the testicle. Spermatoceles are filled with fluid, so light will shine through them (transillumination). Light will not pass through solid masses that may be caused by other problems, such as cancer of the testicle. An ultrasound may be used to confirm the diagnosis of a spermatocele.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage a spermatocele?

Although there’s no way to prevent a spermatocele, it’s important for you to conduct scrotal self-exams at least monthly to detect changes, such as masses, in your scrotum. Any new mass in your scrotum should be evaluated promptly.

Your doctor can instruct you in how to conduct a testicular self-examination, which can improve your chances of finding a mass.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: September 11, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2017

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