Usually the only indication of a hydrocele is a painless swelling of one or both testicles. Adult men with a hydrocele may experience discomfort from the heaviness of a swollen scrotum. Sometimes, the swollen testicle may be smaller in the morning and larger later in the day.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you experience scrotal swelling. It's important to rule out other possible causes for the swelling. Sometimes a hydrocele is associated with 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.
For your child
If your baby has scrotal swelling, make an appointment with your baby's doctor. If the doctor determines that the cause of the swelling is a hydrocele, it will typically disappear on its own. However, if your baby's hydrocele doesn't disappear after a year or if it enlarges, you should make another appointment for your child's doctor to examine the hydrocele again.
Nov. 03, 2011
- Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Hydroceles and inguinal hernias. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=129. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Wampler SM. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:613.
- Barthold JS. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Albanese CT, et al. Pediatric surgery. In: Doherty GM. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5316074. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Hydrocele. National Guideline Clearinghouse. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=12592. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Sept. 17, 2011.
- Cimador M, et al. Management of hydrocele in adolescent patients. Nature Reviews Urology. 2010;7:379.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.