A hydrocele is a painless swelling or enlargement of the scrotum, representing a fluid collection around one or both testicles. Babies rarely have complications from a hydrocele and the vast majority disappear before the age of one without treatment.
In contrast, men with hydroceles may eventually experience discomfort as the scrotum swells and gets heavy. It can create difficulty sitting or walking / running in extreme cases. In most cases, pain or discomfort is proportionate to its size — the bigger it gets, the more likely you’ll feel it.
Hydroceles tend to be smaller in the morning (upon waking) and then get more swollen as the day progresses. Straining may cause certain hydrocele’s to increase in size. Babies born prematurely have a greater risk of having hydroceles.
Be patient with a hydrocele
To a larger extent, in majority of cases among baby boys, teenagers and men, hydroceles go away on their own without any specific treatment. It resolves itself, drains and gets absorbed into the body. Thus, if you notice an enlarged scrotum and it’s not painful or causing problems with urination or during s3x, give it some time to resolve itself.
For baby boys, hydroceles usually fade away on their own within one year of being born. For men, hydroceles often gradually disappear within six months, depending on the cause. Larger ones may take more time, but shouldn’t go beyond one year without medical intervention.
However, in children and adolescents hydroceles can be caused by infection, trauma, testicular torsion or tumor, so these conditions must be excluded by examination from a doctor.
What to do when you have a hydrocele
- Take a lukewarm bath with a few cups of Epsom salt. Relax in the tub for about 15 – 20 minutes with your legs slightly spread, so that the water engulfs your scrotum.
- Epsom salt is also a rich source of magnesium, which helps to relax muscles / tendons and soothe any tenderness.
- The warmth of the water stimulates movement of body fluids and the salt can pull fluid out through your skin and reduce swelling.
- Don’t expose your scrotum to heat as it may create more inflammation and make your symptoms worse.
- Protect your scrotum from trauma and practice safe sex.
- If you play contact sports, always wear an athletic supporter with a plastic cup to protect your scrotum from injury.
- Use a new condom when having sex in order to significantly reduce your risk of infection.
Finally, seek medical attention if symptoms does not resolve within the shortest the possible time.