What Causes an Enlarged Testicle?

Most causes of an enlarged testicle are treatable.
Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

An enlarged testicle can be a cause for great concern among men who experience this symptom. Fortunately, most causes of enlargement do not represent a serious medical condition. Some of the more common causes of an enlarged testicle include epididymitis, orchitis, or a varicocele. In some cases, a swollen testicle may due to a tumor, although this is relatively rare.

Epididymitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the tube that leads to the vas deferens from the testicle. This type of inflammation is usually caused by a bacterial infection. In addition to an enlarged testicle, symptoms often include pain, fever, and blood in the semen. Treatment for epididymitis generally involves the use of a prescription antibiotic. Pain medications, ice packs, and bed rest may also assist in the healing process.

Orchitis refers to inflammation involving one or both testicles and is most often caused by the same virus that causes the mumps. Bacterial infections, including some sexually transmitted diseases, may also lead to this condition. Pain, fever, and nausea are often present along with at least one enlarged testicle. Over-the-counter or prescription medications as well as bed rest and the application of ice packs are typical treatment options. Additional medications may be prescribed, depending on whether the condition is caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

Ad

A varicocele is another potential cause of an enlarged testicle. This is a condition that involves an enlargement or widening of the veins located in the scrotum, the sac that hold the testicles. A varicocele often develops during puberty and can cause low sperm production. The pain or discomfort associated with this condition is often relieved when lying down. Treatment may occasionally involve surgical repair, although most varicoceles disappear on their own without any type of medical treatment.

In some cases, an enlarged testicle may develop due to the presence of a tumor. When this is the cases, a lump that can be either seen or felt is often present. Testicular cancer is relatively rare, and most tumors found in this region of the body are benign. Even if the tumor is cancerous, early diagnosis and treatment often leads to an excellent prognosis for the patient. Any inflammation involving one or both testicles should always be evaluated by a medical professional in order to rule out serious medical conditions and ensure that the proper type of treatment is obtained.

Ad

Discuss this Article

gator11
Post 4

My right testicle is swollen about four times the normal size and hardened to the touch. I haven't felt any kind of bump or growth and have little to no pain. The only activity I can associate it with was an increased amount of bike riding at the time.

ZipLine
Post 3

@MikeMason-- That sounds like what I have, but yours was a tumor right?

Mine is not a tumor, it's basically dead tissue built-up from an infection I had a couple of years ago. I was very worried initially when they found a mass in my scan and I thought I had testicular cancer symptoms. Thankfully, it didn't turn out to be a tumor.

I think bacterial infections are a major cause of enlarged testicles but the treatment is easy, a course of antibiotics takes care of it. Sometimes, you can be left with a mass in the testicle though which makes it larger in size. But it doesn't pose a risk to my health so the doctor is not going to remove it.

stoneMason
Post 2

@fBoyle-- I think appearance wise, they're about the same, but the underlying cause might give it different characteristics.

For example, I had a mass in my testicle which was removed and mine as enlarged to about two times its regular size. My testicle felt very hard to the touch. I think when it's swollen, it tends to be softer.

fBoyle
Post 1

I think trauma to the testicles can cause testicle pain and cause them to swell as well right? What's the difference between an enlarged and swollen testicle appearance wise? How do we tell them apart?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email