A common condition to occur in men is called hydrocele which is a fluid sac which accumulates in a testicle. The testicle will swell in the bag of skin under the scrotum. Hydrocele most often occurs in babies and disappears after a year. It can occur in boys and men as well.
The good thing is it is not cancerous, nor is it harmful or even painful. The only symptom is the swelling in the bag of skin. Some men may feel some discomfort and others notice that the swelling goes down during the day but is larger in the morning.
It is still important to see a doctor to determine the exact causes. Sometimes it caused by an inguinal hernia, “in which a weak point in the abdominal wall allows a loop of intestine to extend into the scrotum and which may require treatment.”
Hydrocele in babies
Hydrocele should disappear on its own within a year but you need to see the doctor. If after a year the hydrocele isn’t gone you need to see the doctor again. Non-communicating hydrocele can be congenial originating in the womb. “Normally, the testicles descend from the developing baby's abdominal cavity into the scrotum. A sac (processus vaginalis) accompanies each testicle, allowing fluid to surround the testicles.” The fluid usually is absorbed within the first year. However, sometimes it gets trapped. If the sac remains open it then becomes communicating hydrocele and some of the fluid can go back up into the abdomen.
Older boys and adults
Hydrocele can result from an injury to the scrotum or an infection. The infection may occur in the back of the testicle in a long tube called causing epididymitis.
Premature babies are at risk for this condition
In adults the hydrocele can be caused by infection or a sexually transmitted disease.
Hydrocele may be a result of an inguinal hernia which can be fatal if not treated. Or it can be caused by an infection, or a tumor leading to a low sperm count.
You must see a doctor if you have swollen testicles. The hydrocele may be caused by testicular torsion whereby the testicle is twisted and the blood supply is cut off. Children with hydrocele may be referred to a urologist for further treatment.
When you see the doctor make sure you have tell all your symptoms, if you had an injury in the groin area and your sexual history. You will also need to present your mental history.
The doctor will examine the scrotum to look for an inguinal hernia; the doctor my use a light to check for fluid (transillumination). The doctor may ask for blood and urine tests to determine if it is epididymitis. An ultrasound may be ordered as well.
The doctor may choose to let the hydrocele disappear on its own.
Surgical excision hydrocelectomy may be done to remove the fluid and also an inguinal hernia if one is present.
In some cases you may have to wear a draining pipe for a few days along with a scrotum support.
This procedure is often done for men who have medical complications that are not amenable to surgery.
In some cases the hydrocele comes back.