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What Is a Scrotal Cyst?

A diagram of the male reproductive organs, including the scrotum.
Some types of cysts may require surgical removal.
Any unusual swelling or bulging in the groin area should be reported to a doctor.
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  • Written By: Eric Stolze
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
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A scrotal cyst is a mass that develops in the scrotum of a male patient and may contain fluid. The scrotum is a sac that contains two male reproductive organs known as testicles. Men can develop several types of scrotal masses, including hydroceles, spermatoceles and testicular cancer tumors. Scrotal cysts may cause pain in the scrotum, while some male patients have scrotal masses that are painless.

Males with a hydrocele have a mass filled with fluid that is located along the spermatic cord in the scrotum. This type of scrotal cyst may occur after an injury to the scrotum or as a result of inflammation in the testicles or scrotum. Hydroceles can also develop from a blockage of blood or other fluid in the spermatic cord. Older men generally have an increased risk of developing a hydrocele due to spermatic cord blockage. This kind of scrotal mass may also be caused by an inguinal hernia.

Newborn male infants can develop hydroceles due to improper development of the male reproductive organs. The testicles of normal newborn males typically travel down a tube from the abdomen into the scrotum. A hydrocele may grow in the scrotum when this tube does not close after the testicles have completed their descent. Fluid from the abdomen can flow into a male patient's scrotum and cause a scrotal cyst to develop. In most cases, this type of scrotal cyst goes away within a few months of birth.

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Hydroceles typically cause a swollen testicle and tend to be painless. Many hydroceles are not treated unless they cause discomfort or disrupt the testicle’s blood supply. Doctors can use an aspiration procedure to remove fluid from a hydrocele with a needle. In some instances, medication is injected into a hydrocele to prevent future fluid accumulation. Physicians may correct hydroceles with other surgical procedures.

Spermatoceles, also known as epididymal cysts or spermatic cysts, develop in the scrotum above a testicle and are generally painless. This type of scrotal cyst typically contains dead sperm cells and is about the size of a pea. A spermatocele may develop without any previous infection or injury. Physicians may treat some spermatoceles by surgically removing the cysts.

Testicular cancer tumors are malignant scrotal masses that typically cause a lump in the scrotum. These tumors may develop without symptoms, or they can cause scrotal swelling and pain in the scrotum that radiates throughout the groin area. Teenage boys and young men usually have a greater risk of developing testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is often treated with surgical removal of an affected testicle and the spermatic cord. Physicians may also use radiation therapy or chemotherapy to treat cancer of the testicles.

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anon310275
Post 8

Can you please tell me what is wrong with me? I had surgery to remove a sebaceous cyst that I got from a blocked hair follicle after shaving my sac, but now if I walk or sit on hard surfaces too often, I get inflammation down there, and the only thing that helps me is four 500mg tylenols.

I'm sick of taking tylenol every day like I have for the last year. Will I be like this forever? Is this scar tissue, a cut nerve or bad blood flow and how do I fix it? Please help.

The inflammation only starts to come when I'm active, like walking or sitting and that's when the pain arrives and there I go popping a bunch of tylenols. The pain an inflammation is not in my testicles. It's on the actual scrotum sac where the doctor cut me open. I sometimes even feel a tingly sensation down my left leg. I'm thinking it's either got to be scar tissue or a cut nerve, but I'm not sure which.

anon301196
Post 7

I really want some help. I have constant pain and irritated testicles, back and front. They are really red and itch when I touch them. Wearing clothes is uncomfortable on them and I don't feel fit to run or play sports with it. I can pee, ejaculate and all that fine, but my scrotum and penis seems larger than normal. I am 18 and want to know what's going on.

anon283292
Post 6

My scrotal sac is too tender and at times I feel pain in the testes. What could be the cause of all this? Do I have any chances of fathering a child in this situation?

anon263914
Post 5

I am a teenager, age 18. I was hit on my scrotal sac. Since then I have been experiencing pains and some changes in it. Please, what can I do?

anon174241
Post 4

On the right side of my scrotum between my testicle and leg, when I push into the scrotum area below my right teste, I feel a small ball that seems to be on a tendon. It hurts a little but not much. It seems to get bigger on some days and smaller on other days. I am worried about it should I get it checked?

CopperPipe
Post 3

Could you tell me a little more about scrotal hernias? My doctor said that I was prone to them, although I've never experienced a hernia of any kind before, much less a scrotal one, so I'm not sure what I should be on the look out for.

Is there some way that I can avoid this happening, or is it just inevitable if you're "prone" to them? Can you give me some more information about this?

pharmchick78
Post 2

@charlie89 -- What it sounds like you have is a sebaceous cyst. Sebaceous cysts are not a big deal, so don't worry. Let me outline some symptoms for you, and then you can see if you think that's what you've got.

Sebaceous cysts can appear anywhere on the body except for the palms and soles of the feet, but in men they generally appear on the chest or around the genitals. They often look much like a large pimple, and are filled with an oily substance.

If ahead develops on them, then you may be able to pop them like a pimple -- if you do, a foul-smelling substance will come out. This is because of all the dead skin cells trapped in the cyst, as well as any infection that may have occurred.

If that sounds like what you have, and if it is really bothering you, then you may want to consider getting them removed. Though sebaceous cyst removal is not terrible complicated, medically speaking, you absolutely should not attempt it by yourself -- you could cause a deeper infection. So skip out on the sebaceous cyst home treatments, and see your doctor if it really bothers you.

But as long as it's small, and doesn't affect your daily life, then you really should be fine to just leave it. Don't worry, these are extremely common in men (and women), so you should be fine.

Best of luck.

Charlie89
Post 1

What kind of testicle cyst would you have if it shows up on the outside of the scrotum? Is it still considered a testicular cyst if it's not inside the scrotum?

I've had a lump that looks rather like a pimple on the outside of my scrotum for a few weeks now, but it's not painful, so I haven't done anything about it. Now it's starting to get larger so I"m afraid that I've got cancer or something.

Could you tell me what this could be, and if I should be worried?

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