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What is a Scrotal Hernia?

By J. Beam
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A scrotal hernia, or a hernia in the scrotal or groin area, is more correctly referred to as an inguinal hernia. The primary symptom of an inguinal hernia is a bulge in the groin or scrotum, thus the layman’s reference to a scrotal hernia. A scrotal hernia occurs when tissue passes through thin or weakened spots in the groin muscle, which results in a bulge that may be painful or cause burning. Many hernias are the result of heavy lifting and are ten times more common in men than women.

The symptoms of an inguinal hernia may include pain, discomfort, or a heavy feeling in the groin area, bulging of either side of the pubic bone, or swelling near the testicles in men. In some cases, symptoms may not be noticeable and the hernia may be detected by a doctor during a routine physical.

Certain risk factors that increase the chances of developing an inguinal hernia include family history, chronic constipation that results in heavy straining during bowel movements, moderate to severe obesity, and manual labor jobs that require both standing for long periods and heavy lifting. People who have previously developed hernias are more likely to develop another.

In men, a scrotal hernia can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort around the testicles, but a hernia itself is not dangerous. It is the complications that can arise from a hernia that causes concern. Bowel obstruction and strangulation of bowel tissue are possible complications of an inguinal hernia and can be life-threatening. For this reason, it is important to have any symptoms checked by your doctor and to have routine physicals.

In most cases, a doctor can diagnose a scrotal hernia by physical exam. Small hernias causing no symptoms may be left to heal on their own by avoiding obvious causes. However, larger hernias or hernias causing pain or discomfort will likely require surgical repair. Your doctor will discuss your options with you or refer you to a specialist if necessary.

People who are at risk for developing a hernia or who have previously developed a hernia may be told to lose weight, change their diet, avoid lifting, and change lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking, to reduce their risk of developing a hernia. Talk to your doctor if you have had symptoms of pain or discomfort in the groin area, have felt pain or pressure when coughing or straining for a bowel movement, or have experience other symptoms.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon357125 — On Dec 01, 2013

I have suffered for eight years with a large left testicle. It looks larger than the right. It swells sometimes when I cough and when I sit down. Sometimes, it will flatten when I lie down. Please give me an answer.

By anon314808 — On Jan 20, 2013

I suffered with a testicle hernia before when I was six or seven. I am now 17 and feel a heavy discomfort in my right testis, which is the same one where the hernia was 10 years ago. I know this by my scar on the right upper leg just beside my testicle.

Could I possibly have developed another one this early in life again? I'm also feeling a very slight dull pain.

By anon286412 — On Aug 21, 2012

I am a 39 year old man. My left testicle is swollen and I have been having pain for seven days. I tried to reduce the pain using an ice cube and hot pad, but it's still the same. If I squeezed it in the bag, it hurts me severely. How can I get rid of this problem? Please tell me.

By anon286176 — On Aug 20, 2012

My child is 12 years old and one of his testes is swollen. Could it be a hernia?

By anon276989 — On Jun 27, 2012

I have been a hernia sufferer for eight years, but for the last six months, I have suffered from jaundice and typhoid. I lost that bulge but the discomfort is the same. I told the hernia doctor and he did not diagnose that and I felt mild pain in my right lower side of my abdomen, just above my testicle.

Please give me suggestions to solve my problems. All the doctors say that there is no hernia but I know there is.

By anon250150 — On Feb 24, 2012

Can you get someone pregnant if you have a scrotal hernia? It's the size of a football.

By anon246785 — On Feb 11, 2012

I get itches and swelling on over the testis bag. Why does this happen? Please tell me.

By anon172783 — On May 05, 2011

i remember one surgeon said to me that it normally occurs in some men who have a thin layer of skin above their scrotal area that doesn't close or get tight while they grow up and so water gets into the scrotum. So either they'll get this at younger age or later.

I have a three year old son who suffers right now with this kind of medical condition. His left scrotum is quite big, full with liquid, and so it pulls the right side up since the left is heavier.

the doctor says he can wait because sometimes it disappears when he turns 5 or 6, but an emergency operation is needed if you feel that there's an intestine in the bulge. You will see the difference if it starts to get harder near the groin.

By anon153903 — On Feb 18, 2011

I'm 14 and have just been diagnosed with a hernia and my testicles are like a balloon. In that sense i mean that when I lay down it "deflates" and when i stand up it "blows up." I am having surgery done on monday. Hope you don't have the same thing it's a quite awkward thing to have at such a young age

By anon147518 — On Jan 29, 2011

Could a hernia cause a testicle to get swollen? My right testicle seems like it is twice as big as my left testicle and hangs 1/2 inch lower as well, it also appears bent. Also my scrotum gets noticeably bigger if I have to go #2 but shrinks right after I poo. What may be causing this? I am 30 years old. Could a hemorrhoid cause this?

By jhondoh1900 — On Jan 28, 2011

i have what i think is a swollen spermatic cord, and epididymis. what would cause that? is it epididymitis or maybe a hernia? i do lift weights sometimes, but i have no abdominal pain, but i do have discomfort in my right spermatic cord. please answer back.

By anon133426 — On Dec 10, 2010

My right testicle is bigger than my left and I feel uncomfortable about this. I feel like my right testicle is out of a bag because it hangs more downward than my left.

Sometimes the right testicle comes below the left one when i wear my underwear. I even get pain in my testes when I wear pants that are just a bit tight.

I don't know the disease. I even showed it to the doctor but he told me it's normal. But I am very worried about this.

By anon48804 — On Oct 15, 2009

i am 22 year old male. for the past three days i have felt dull pain in the testicle, but until now i didn't see any swelling. i used to wear tight jeans for the past four or five years. could that be a reason or something else? Please reply to me. What is it?

By GabbyD19 — On Aug 15, 2009

My boyfriend doesn't have insurance. he has a hernia that has gotten four times larger, and his intestine is now sitting on top of his testicle. is that an emergency? He is scheduled for emergency surgery but has to wait three more months. he has had the hernia for seven months now. if it is an emergency he can get emergency surgery. is it?

By moose1958 — On Aug 13, 2009

My six-year-old grandson has a hernia in or near his testicle. He is in a lot of pain. Tylenol and ibuprofen don't help! He is being sent to a specialist today! His testicle is very swollen, he says it burns when he pees, and it hurts to sit down! Do you think they will do a laproscopy surgery or regular surgery? Is he too young for this to happen to him? What kind of pain meds would they send home with him? Thank you, billie mae clark

By anon39107 — On Jul 30, 2009

I always feel an itching sensation in my scrotum. What is it?

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