Is An Enlarged Testicle A Cause For Concern?

In the majority of cases, an enlarged testicle is usually not a serious matter. The situation still should be looked into, to establish the cause, as there is always the possibility of the presence of a tumor. It is especially important that younger men have an enlarged testicle examined, as it is younger men who are at greatest risk of developing testicular cancer.

For the most part however, an enlarged testicle is either caused by an accumulation of fluid, a generally harmless situation, or an infection, which is usually easily treated with antibiotics. There is a more serious cause of an enlarged testicle, a condition called testicular torsion, where emergency treatment is often required to save the testicle affected.

In the majority of men, both testicles are normally about the same size. Although one will almost always be a bit larger than the other, the difference in size is usually barely noticeable. One testicle may hang lower than the other, usually the left testicle, but this is normal as well, and is not dependent upon testicular size.

Infection Of The Epididymis - Infection is the most common cause of an enlarged testicle, and it is the epididymis, a coiled tube behind the testicle, that is typically affected. Besides enlargement due to swelling, there may also be accompanying pain and the scrotum, the sac holding the testicles, may also appear swollen and inflamed. As in the case of most infections, antibiotics are usually administered as the sole means of treatment, though bed rest may also be prescribed.

Hydrocele - A second cause of an enlarged testicle is a condition referred to as hydrocele. If the suffix hydro- rings a bell, you'll know right away that an accumulation of fluid is somehow involved. There are layers of membranes surrounding each testicle, and the space between these membranes usually contains only a small amount of fluid. It can happen however, that in the case of trauma, an allergic reaction, or an infection, more fluid than normal will be produced between these membranes, causing the membrane to swell. This is a totally harmless situation, and usually does not require treatment. If the amount of enlargement becomes truly excessive, a decision may be made to release the fluid by surgical incision or to draw it out through aspiration. Usually when this is necessary, the cause of the hydrocele will be looked into, to see if by chance, the presence of a tumor triggered the secretion of the fluid.

Cysts And Scrotum Infection - Cysts can also cause a testicle to enlarge, and like hydrocele, are usually quite harmless. The scrotum itself may suffer an infection with resultant swelling. Although the appearance may be that of either or both testicles enlarging, the swelling is in the scrotum and the testicles are usually unaffected.

Testicular Torsion - Testicular torsion can also cause testicles to swell or enlarge. This is a serious condition, as a twisting of the spermatic cord has occurred, which will shut off the blood supply to a testicle. If immediate treatment is not forthcoming, the tissues in the affected testicle will begin to die, and if treatment is too late, the testicle may die and need to be removed.

An enlarged testicle can sometimes be a symptom of some other disease or disorder. Acute leukemia and lymphoma are probably two of the more common diseases that can cause this to occur.

A Bit Of Advice - Should you experience an enlarged testicle, it is always advisable to have it examined, usually by ultrasound. Even though in most cases treatment will not be required, there is always the outside possibility that a tumor might be present, in which case early detection is of utmost importance.