Avatar universal

Small bulge above right testicle, no pain...

A few weeks ago, I was giving myself a basic inspection of my testicles and I noticed I had a small dime/nickel-sized loose bulge above my right testicle. At times, I can't even see it unless I tighten my penile muscles (the same muscles you tighten when you ejaculate or, to put it another way, the muscles you use that cause your testicles to lift up). This action seems to push this "thing" outward against the scrotum skin and can sometimes make it more visible. Anyway, this bulge is right above my right testicle (almost directly on top of it) but does not feel like it’s part of the testicle. It’s like it’s loosely attached to it. It has absolutely no pain to the touch. In fact, it doesn’t feel like anything except scrotum skin. It seems more visible at night when the scrotum skin is looser (or more relaxed). It’s almost like it’s nothing more than some skin that has a little liquid in it if anything.

When I first noticed this thing, I began to worry about it and I arranged a basic consultation with a general surgeon from a local hospital who specializes in hernia repair, anal medical procedures, and an assortment of laparoscopic surgery techniques. Needless to say, I thought he'd be perfectly qualified to determine whether this thing was something worth worrying about. (Bear in mind, I have no insurance and this visit cost me around $245.00 to do.)

He performed a hernia inspection, poked around, felt all around, and did an extensive visualization of the area. He did the whole "turn head, cough" bit multiple times, had me on the inspection bench doing a few sit-up motions as he inspected the area. After he was done, he said he saw nothing to worry about. He didn't feel anything hernia-related and said that everything felt/looked normal. He said since there wasn't any pain, that it was likely something benign, maybe a collection of fluid. He said at worst, it might be the beginning of a small hernia, but said he couldn't know for sure without doing a CT scan. Since I have no insurance at present, I opted to just live with it. He didn't have any problems with this approach and was more concerned about my blood pressure than he was this thing.

Thing is, I can't stop worrying about it. I'm now fearful of masturbating and worried that if it's a spermatocele, it's just going to get bigger and bigger until I'm forced to do something about it. I don't know what else it could be, but I've been keeping an eye on it and I'm just not sure how to proceed except to arrange a consult with an actual urologist.

Based on my own research, it seems like it might be a spermatocele. From what I understand, these are benign masses that collect fluid, but they don't normally go away on their own and out of everything I've read about them, it sounds like they just keep growing into perpetuity. Is that true?

Look, I'm not proud of admitting it, but I do masturbate often. I’m a single guy, and I'd say on average, it's usually about 1-3 times per-day, and if I'm having a “good day” where I have no stress or anxiety (which is rare), it might be a little more; but most often, it's just once or twice per-day on average. I don't want to make this thing worse, and since I've looked into it online, I haven't masturbated at all. Honestly, I'm almost panicking. I can't say if it's getting worse because I don't think it is. I don't think it's reducing in size, either, but it's only been a few days since my doctor's visit. That doctor even said to carry on with life like normal, but how can I do that knowing this will just keep growing? Or am I worrying too much? Maybe I’m completely wrong about all of this?

I'm planning on calling a local urologist's office tomorrow to get some quotes on costs for both a basic consult as well as the cost for a possible CT just to have an idea of what to expect, and go from there.

Thoughts? Again, it's completely painless and sometimes (like in the morning after waking up or when my scrotum skin is more rigid), I can barely even see it. It's like it becomes most visible at night or whenever the scrotum skin is loosest. I feel pretty stupid posting this on here, but I figured it can't hurt if actual urologists use this website.

I’d love any input about this to put my fears to rest. I know I haven’t had a CT yet, but assuming my last doctor visit was correct, am I just being a worry wart?
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Avatar universal
It could be a hydrocele
Helpful - 0
Or it could be epididymitis, inflammation of the epididymis.
Thanks for chiming in, eliot7. Actually, I'm suspecting it's a spermatocele. I'm not a doctor, so that's just a DIY guess after doing some Google research about things related to testicular conditions with my symptoms in mind.

The good news is that I don't think anything has worsened, and there's no pain in any situations. Sometimes, I think I can feel a subtle, barely noticeable ache, but it's so subtle and rare that I can't be sure if it's this "thing" or else just how I'm sitting, or maybe a referred ache from exercising after, say, a jog. At the risk of being a bit embarrassed, I can't shake the feeling that this is a result of masturbation. I don't want to come across as a "weirdo" or anything. Hopefully there's nothing strange or off-putting about admitting this about myself in a medical context. (If I've made you--or anyone else on here--uncomfortable for bringing this up, please forgive me. It's just that I'm trying to be honest and transparent about this situation for the sake of being thorough in trying to diagnose anything that might be worth diagnosing.)

Anyway, nothing appears to be worsening. There's no abnormal discharge, no blood, nothing "stings" when I urinate or ejaculate... Everything appears to be functioning like normal. It's literally just a palpable nickel-sized area right above my right testicle and when I touch it, I experience no pain or any discomfort and it has no real mass, really: it's as if I'm touching a deflated balloon or something except I think it has a little fluid inside it. It's just a weird bulge and sometimes, I can hardly even see it.

I was looked at by a general surgeon around the time I posted my initial post here who specializes in a number of areas including hernias and vasectomies. He wasn't a urologist, though. But he didn't think it was a hernia, and had 100% confidence it wasn't anything major like testicular cancer. After looking at everything, feeling around, and having me sit on his evaluation bench to do a few sit-up motions, he was  okay with just waiting-and-watching. He could hardly even see what I was even in there about. He said a worst-case scenario might be an initial hernia, and he did admit that there were situations where fluid can get trapped. He said the only way to know for sure what it was is to get an ultrasound, but since I currently lack insurance, it would cost somewhere around $2,000 to do. We talked about it and he felt it was okay to hold off unless it gets worse or I experience any pain. So, I'm holding off on getting the ultrasound for now or escalating anything.

As a side note, it's my understanding that a hydrocele appears to present as an enlargement of an entire scrotum and or entire testicle with the "swelling" (or enlargement) encompassing the entire testicle(s), as in "all-around" the testicle(s). That's not my situation at all. This "bulge" I'm seeing is palpable--it's a nickel-sized kind of deflated "sack" (?) that I think has some fluid and it's just above my right testicle. I can hardly see it when the skin of the scrotum is tight or cold when the skin tightens up. As far as the epididymis idea, there's no pain--either with urination or ejaculation--and since epididymitis is often associated to STDs, I feel pretty safe about it not being that since I haven't been with a partner since 2008 (my college ex). Sure, strange things can happen still, I know, and it'll be something I'll be mindful of moving forward.

Unless things worsen, I'm likely going to just live with it for the time being, or at least until November when I'll be able to get on my employer's health coverage. Maybe around then, I'll reevaluate things to see if I should elevate this issue with someone like an actual urologist and or get an ultrasound, etc.
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