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by Carmack A
(Spermatocele; Spermatic Cyst)

Definition

An epididymal cyst is a fluid-filled sac in a long tube near the testicle. It is not a type of cancer. The cyst may also be called

Causes

The exact cause is not known. It may happen when the tube is blocked.

Risk Factors

Epididymal cysts are more common in men over 40 years of age. Men whose mothers were given diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy may be at higher risk. This drug has not been used since 1971.

Symptoms

Most men do not have symptoms. They may notice a lump or mass in the testicle or on the side of the scrotum. Some men may have pain.

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. An image may be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with an ultrasound.

Treatment

The cyst may go away in time. Many do not change or cause problems. Theses cysts will not need treatment.

Large, painful or uncomfortable cysts may need to be removed with surgery.

Prevention

The cyst cannot be prevented. The cause is not known.

RESOURCES

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians  https://familydoctor.org  

Urology Care Foundation  https://www.urologyhealth.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Urological Association  http://www.cua.org 

Health Canada  https://www.canada.ca 

References

Alvarez DM, Bhatt S, et al. Sonographic spectrum of tunica albuginea cyst. J Clin Imaging Sci. 2011;1:5.

Common benign urological conditions in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/benign-urologic-conditions-in-men. Updated October 2, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2020.

DES sons. DES Action website. Available at: https://desaction.org/des-sons. Accessed June 3, 2020.

Epididymal cyst. Patient UK website. Available at: https://patient.info/mens-health/scrotal-lumps-pain-and-swelling/epididymal-cyst. Updated November 23, 2017. Accessed June 3, 2020.

Epididymal cyst and spermatocele. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/epididymal-cyst-and-spermatocele. Accessed June 3, 2020.

What are spermatoceles? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/spermatoceles. Accessed June 3, 2020.

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