Regular self-examination (see Examining your testes) is important to detect lumps and swellings in the testes (the sperm-producing organs) and the scrotum (the sac in which the testes lie). The cause may be minor, but there is a possibility of cancer of the testis. Painful swelling in the genital area requires immediate medical attention.
What is the nature of your symptoms?
Does the problem affect one or both testes?
Have you had an injury in the genital area within the past 48 hours?
Possible cause Internal damage to the testes is a possibility.
Medical help URGENT! Phone your doctor immediately!
Possible cause Epididymo-orchitis, which may be due to a sexually transmitted infection or a viral infection such as mumps, may be causing your symptoms.
Medical help See your doctor within 24 hours.
Possible cause Accumulation of fluid in the scrotum (see Hydrocele), varicose veins in the scrotum (see Varicocele), or an inguinal hernia (see Hernias) are the most likely causes of your symptoms. However, there is a possibility that you may have cancer of the testis.
Medical help Make an appointment to see your doctor.
If you cannot identify a possible cause for your testes or scrotum problem from this chart, make an appointment to see your doctor.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.