Testicle lumps and swellings

Lumps and swellings in the testicles (balls) aren't usually caused by anything serious but you should get them checked by a GP.

See a GP if you have:

  • a lump in your testicles
  • swollen testicles
  • one testicle that's become bigger than the other
  • aching or discomfort in your testicles that doesn't go away

Lumps in the testicles can be a sign of testicular cancer. This is easier to treat if it’s found early.

Go to A&E if you get sudden, unbearable pain in your testicles or tummy

This could be caused by your testicle becoming twisted, which needs to be treated in hospital as soon as possible.

What happens at your GP appointment

To find out what the cause of your lump or swelling is, the GP may:

  • look at and feel your testicles
  • shine a torch through the pouch of skin containing your testicles (scrotum) to check for a build-up of fluid
  • refer you for an ultrasound scan

Treatment for a lump or swelling depends on the cause. You might not need treatment if it doesn't cause any problems and isn't getting worse.

If it's painful or very big, your GP may refer you to a specialist for an operation to drain, shrink or remove it.

Causes of testicle lumps and swellings

Lumps and swellings in the testicles can have lots of different causes.

Most are caused by something harmless, such as a build-up of a fluid (cyst) or swollen veins in the testicles (varicocele).

But sometimes they can be a sign of something serious, such as testicular cancer.

Don't try to self-diagnose the cause of your lump – always see a GP.

Call 111

If you can’t speak to your GP or don’t know what to do next.

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