Sometimes, an abnormal mass can form in your testicles and is known as a testicular lump. The testicles are egg-shaped male reproductive organs and hang right below the penis – the testicles hang inside a sac called the scrotum. The testicles are responsible for the production of sperm and a male sex hormone called testosterone. You can develop a hard lump on testicle for many different reasons, including an injury to the testicles. They can affect one or both of your testicles. Let’s find out more about it.
What Could It Be?
A hard lump on testicle is actually a common issue that can affect teenage boys and men alike. Sometimes, it could be the result of an underlying condition, such as the following.
It is the most common type of testicular lump and affects one in every seven men. You develop varicocele lumps because of enlarged veins in your testicles. These lumps are likely to become more noticeable when you hit puberty – that is mainly because of an increased blood flow to the area. You usually need no treatment because the pain goes away on its own. Sometimes, your doctor prescribes OTC pain relievers and other pain medications.
You require surgery in case you experience recurring episodes of discomfort. Your doctor will perform a surgical procedure to help reduce the congestion in the veins. It is possible to resolve the discomfort by tying off the affected veins – your doctor may also decide to use other methods to divert blood flow to those veins, which in turn will help eliminate the swelling.
You develop a hydrocele when fluid accumulates in your testicles. One out of every 100 baby boys has this type of testicular lump at birth. Premature babies are more likely to have this complication. You may have to undergo surgery in case you develop a hydrocele lump. Most children do not require surgery, as the lump goes away by the time the child reaches age 2. In case of a surgery, your doctor will make a small incision in your child’s scrotum to get rid of excess fluid.
There is a long, coiled tube right behind your testicles – it is called the epididymis. You develop a cyst when there is fluid in the epididymis that would not drain. It is called a spermatocele in case it contains sperm instead of fluid. This hard lump on testicle is also quite common and does not always require a treatment. If your epididymal cyst does not cause any pain or discomfort, you do not really need to have it treated. In case of pain, you may require surgery. The procedure involves removing the cyst and sealing the scrotum again with stitches. These stitches usually take 10 days to dissolve completely.
The structure or tube that stores sperm is called epididymis, but sometimes, the structure can become inflamed leading to a condition called Epididymitis. You usually develop this inflammation due to a bacterial infection. A sexually transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea can also cause Epididymitis. You may also develop this inflammation due to the mumps virus.
You may have to take antibiotics in case your inflammation is due to a bacterial infection. It is important to keep in mind that if you have developed Epididymitis because of a sexually transmitted disease, your partner may also require treatment.
You develop hernia when a part of bowel protrudes through your groin. This can lead to the enlargement of your scrotum. You usually need surgery to deal with a hernia. It is usually important to work with a hernia specialist to determine the best treatment option.
Caused by the twisted spermatic cord, testicular torsion is a benign condition but can still lead to serious consequences. It is important to understand that testicular torsion is different from other types of testicular lumps and swelling in that it requires immediate medical attention. You need to see your doctor immediately in case you think you have testicular torsion. Some of the most common signs of testicular torsion are vomiting, nausea, swelling of the scrotum, abdominal pain, and a severe pain in one of your testicles. You require surgery to deal with testicular torsion.
Any delay would lead to serious consequences because twisted spermatic cord will stop the flow of blood to the area. Your doctor will untwist your testicle to restore the supply of blood to the area. Keep in mind that your testicle may sustain irreversible damage if you do not get it treated within six hours. A testicle may also die because of no blood supply and this requires surgical removal of your testicle.
In rare cases, a hard lump on testicle could indicate testicular cancer. Fewer than four in 100 testicular lumps are cancerous. These lumps usually take a time to grow and are usually on the testicle itself. They will be solid and firm. You would not feel pain and the lump would not be tender to touch. The condition usually affects boys and men between 15 and 49 years of age. It is quite uncommon in older men. You need surgery to treat your testicular cancer.
Your doctor will also use chemotherapy, radiation, and other available methods. Your chances of survival will depend on the stage of your testicular cancer. Sometimes, surgical removal off testicle helps keep the cancer from affecting other parts of your body.