Scrotal swelling is an visible enlargement of the scrotal sac. The scrotal sac, or scrotum, houses the testicles. .
The swelling may be painless or very painful. If the swelling is painful you should seek emergency treatment. In severe cases and depending on the cause, not receiving timely treatment can result in the loss of your testicles due to the death of tissue.
Scrotal swelling can happen rapidly or slowly over time. One of the main causes of painful scrotal swelling is testicular torsion. This is an injury or an event that causes a testicle in the scrotal sac to twist and cut off blood circulation. This very painful injury could cause tissue death to the scrotum in a matter of hours. Other medical conditions and diseases can also cause the scrotum to swell:
- testicular cancer
- abnormally enlarged veins in the scrotum
- acute inflammation of the testes, called orchitis
- swelling due to increased fluid, called hydrocele
- inflammation or infection in the epididymis, called epididymitis
- inflammation or infection of the scrotal skin
Other symptoms related to these conditions may be present before scrotal swelling.
In addition to a visible enlargement of the scrotal sac, you may have additional symptoms depending on the cause of the swelling. Common symptoms that may be experienced alongside scrotal swelling include a lump in the testicle and pain in the testicles or scrotum.
Ultrasound scan is the main diagnostic test, this imaging test will identify any abnormalities within the scrotal sac. Treatment options for scrotal swelling depend on the cause.