A spermatocele (SPUR-muh-toe-seel) is an abnormal sac (cyst) that develops in the epididymis — the small, coiled tube located on the upper testicle that collects and transports sperm. Noncancerous and generally painless, a spermatocele usually is filled with milky or clear fluid that might contain sperm.

The exact cause of spermatoceles is unknown but might be due to a blockage in one of the tubes that transports sperm.

Spermatoceles, sometimes called spermatic cysts, are common. They typically don't reduce fertility or require treatment. If a spermatocele grows large enough to cause discomfort, your doctor might suggest surgery.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

A spermatocele usually causes no signs or symptoms and might remain stable in size. If it becomes large enough, however, you might feel:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the testicle with the spermatocele
  • A mass, or fullness, behind and above the testicle

When to see a doctor

Because a spermatocele usually doesn't cause symptoms, you might discover it only during a testicular self-exam, or your doctor might find it during a routine physical exam.

It's a good idea to have your doctor evaluate any scrotal mass to rule out a serious condition, such as testicular cancer. Also, be sure to call your doctor if you experience pain or swelling in your scrotum. A number of conditions can cause testicular pain, and some require immediate treatment.

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