What is an enlarged testicle?
An enlarged testicle is a common symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. Testicle enlargement results from swelling, a lump, or a cyst within the testicle. Other conditions that cause swelling in the scrotum may appear to be an enlarged testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of enlarged testicle, and inflammation of the testicle for any reason can also cause swelling. Depending on the cause, enlargement may occur in one or both testicles, and may be accompanied by pain, swelling or fever.
Infections of the epididymis or testicle itself are common causes of enlarged testicle. A scrotal cyst (spermatocele) or varicose veins (varicocele) can also result in the appearance of an enlarged testicle. In rare cases, enlargement of the testicle is a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition that is commonly associated with a painless lump. Mumps, a viral infection, can lead to an enlarged testicle along with other symptoms, such as swollen salivary glands, sore throat, and fever. An inguinal hernia, when the abdominal contents protrude into the groin, can be mistaken for an enlarged testicle.
In some cases, the symptoms of enlarged testicle can be a serious condition called testicular torsion. Seek i mmediate medical care (call 911) for the sudden onset of severe pain and swelling in the testicle, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Seek prompt medical care if you notice gradual enlargement of the testicle, discomfort, or redness.
What other symptoms might occur with enlarged testicle?
An enlarged testicle may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the testicle may also involve other body systems.
Common symptoms that may occur along with an enlarged testicle
An enlarged testicle may accompany other common symptoms including:
- Abdominal pain or pressure
- Difficult or painful urination, or burning with urination (dysuria)
- Discharge or pus from the end of the penis
- Pain associated with ejaculation
- Pain in the testicle
- Scrotum that feels swollen or heavy
- Testicle lump
Other symptoms that may occur along with an enlarged testicle
An enlarged testicle may be accompanied by other symptoms including:
- Blood present in semen
- Breast area changes, such as tenderness or enlargement
- Dilated blood vessels in the scrotum
- Groin swelling and pain
- Pain or a dull aching feeling in the scrotum
Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition
In some cases, an enlarged testicle can be a symptom of a serious condition called testicular torsion. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have an enlarged testicle with any of these serious symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sudden severe pain in the testicle, which may be accompanied by swelling of one side of the scrotum
What causes enlarged testicle?
Enlarged testicle is a common symptom of injury, inflammation or infection. Testicle enlargement results from swelling of the soft tissues, a lump, or a cyst within the testicle. Injury leading to swelling is a common cause of an enlarged testicle.
Depending on the cause, enlargement may occur in one or both testicles, and it may be accompanied by pain, swelling or fever. Infections of the epididymis or testes can cause enlarged testicles. In rare cases, enlargement of the testicle is a symptom of testicular cancer, a condition commonly associated with a painless lump.
Common causes of an enlarged testicle
An enlarged testicle may have other causes including:
- Cancer of the testicle
- Epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis)
- Inguinal hernia, which may be mistaken for an enlarged testicle
- Mumps (viral infection that can cause inflammation of the testicle)
- Orchitis (inflammation of the testicle)
- Scrotal sac infection
- Spermatocele (cyst in the scrotum)
- Testicular torsion (acute emergency)
- Trauma or injury
- Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele), which may appear as an enlarged testicle
Serious or life-threatening causes of an enlarged testicle
In some cases, an enlarged testicle may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting, such as testicular torsion, a condition in which blood supply to the testicle is compromised (irreversible damage after 12 hours).
Questions for diagnosing the cause of an enlarged testicle
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your enlarged testicle including:
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Do you have discharge from your penis?
- Do you have any lumps in your testicle?
- Do you have pain with urination?
- Do you have blood in your semen?
- Do you have symptoms in one or both testicles?
- Have you recently injured your testicle?
- What medications are you taking?
- When did you first notice your enlarged testicle?
Because an enlarged testicle can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Infarction of the testicular tissue
- Scrotal abscess
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
- Testicle removal