Testicle problems

Testicular problems are common in children. Problems can include undescended testis (where the testicle is not present in the scrotum and may be in the groin, abdomen or completely missing). Other problems include pain and swelling. Pain is a particular worry, because it can be caused by the testicle twisting and cutting off its blood supply (although pain can be caused by other conditions). A twisted testicle, also known as testicular torsion, usually needs emergency surgery to save the testicle.

Swelling can be caused by a number of conditions:

– the most common cause, in children, is fluid around the testicle due to the failure of a passage between the abdomen and testicle to close normal. This passage is called a patent processus vaginalis (PPV) and can cause a groin hernia aswell as fluid around the testicle.

– Epididymal cyst

– Infection

– Dilated veins (varicocoele), which usually does not appear until puberty

– Testicular cancer is very rare in children before puberty

If you are worried about a child’s testicular problem, it is advisable to discuss the problem with a Doctor. Examination alone can often diagnose the problem, however, if there is doubt an ultrasound scan is simple to perform and advisable. If a child or young adult has pain that lasts more than minutes and fails to settle, it is advisable to seek emergency advice.


Treatment depends on the problem, but usually requires either surgery or monitoring. Severe testicular pain may need emergency treatment, because if a testicle is twisted the best chance of saving it is to surgically untwist it within 6 hours of the start of pain. Our Consultants have many years of experience at treating these problems. If you would like to discuss this type of problem further then please contact us and book a consultation with Mr Christopher Luscombe.