Although there's no way to prevent a spermatocele, it's important for you to conduct scrotal self-exams at least monthly to detect changes, such as masses, in your scrotum. Any new mass in your scrotum should be evaluated promptly.
Your doctor can instruct you in how to conduct a testicular self-examination, which can improve your chances of finding a mass.
How to examine your testicles
A good time to examine your testicles is during or after a warm bath or shower. The heat from the water relaxes your scrotum, making it easier for you to detect anything unusual. Then follow these steps:
- Stand in front of a mirror. Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top.
- Gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and the fingers. Remember that the testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and somewhat firm. It's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other is. Also, the cord leading upward from the top of the testicle (epididymis) is a normal part of the scrotum.
By regularly performing this exam, you'll become more familiar with your testicles and aware of any changes that might be of concern. If you find a lump, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Regular self-examination is an important health habit. But it can't substitute for a doctor's examination. Your doctor normally checks your testicles whenever you have a physical exam.
Dec. 16, 2014
- Eyre RC. Evaluation of nonacute scrotal pathology in adult men. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Zhou M. Uropathology: High-Yield Pathology. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Spermatoceles (spermatic cyst). American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=117. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Crawford P, et al. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2014;89:723.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Lund L, et al. The long-term efficacy of hydrocele treatment with aspiration and sclerotherapy with polidocanol compared to placebo: A prospective, double-blind, randomized study. The Journal of Urology. 2014;191:1347.
- Do I have testicular cancer? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/moreinformation/doihavetesticularcancer/do-i-have-testicular-cancer-self-exam. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., Nov. 27, 2014.