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What is a Testicle Hernia?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A testicle hernia is a type of inguinal hernia in which a loop of bowel pushes its way into the scrotum, causing a distinctive lump. Inguinal hernias in general tend to be more common in men than in women because of the way in which male fetuses develop, but testicle hernias are comparatively rare. Like other hernias, the only way to repair a testicle hernia is through surgery to put the bowel back into place and repair the site of the herniation.

Hernias occur when an organ pushes through the layers of tissue which are supposed to keep it contained. In the case of an inguinal hernia, this involves the protrusion of bowel past the inguinal canal, an anatomical feature located in the lower abdomen. Inguinal hernias cause lumps and corresponding pain in the groin area. They tend to be more common in men because of the male anatomy: the testicles actually start out in the body, and later descend, leaving a weak point which is vulnerable to herniation.

In the case of a testicle hernia, the loop of bowel trapped in the intestine may feel painful at times, and it leaps into prominence when the patient coughs, which is a useful diagnostic tool. At a physical, a doctor often checks for hernias by placing a hand on the scrotum and asking the patient to cough; if a lump emerges, the patient has a testicle hernia. If the condition is left untreated, the hernia may become strangulated, meaning that the supply of blood is cut off, causing the tissue to die. This is not desirable, and as a result, a testicle hernia must be treated.

A hernia truss can sometimes be worn to keep the herniated bowel in place, but the site will eventually require surgery. Although many men are understandably nervous about having surgical procedures in the vicinity of their testicles, the consequences of an untreated hernia should not be taken lightly, and the earlier surgical intervention is undertaken, the less traumatic the surgery should be. The surgeon will also exercise due care in the region while repairing the hernia to ensure that nothing is damaged.

Sometimes, a testicle hernia just emerges, without any action on the part of the patient. In other instances, the hernia is brought on by severe strain, poor lifting posture with weights and heavy objects, or strenuous activity. Men can reduce their chances of developing an inguinal hernia by learning to lift things safely, and exercising at a reasonable comfort level which includes adequate time for warming up and cooling down.

The Health Board 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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon1003904 — On Oct 03, 2020

I am a 66-year-old old Hispanic male. I've always been healthy and in good shape. I exercise – not every day – but I stay in good shape and am not an overweight person.

Last year, I just noticed that my right testicle was kind of bigger than the other one. I went to the clinic and the doctor checked it out. He manipulated my testicle for a while and I felt no pain at all. In fact, I never felt any pain. He didn't mention any warnings about my testicle growing or next step to keep checking it. I forgot about it for a while, but I started feeling discomfort – not pain, but my testicle is still growing and I just panicked when I just saw the size getting bigger, I don,t have any lumps. It is just my testicle growing and no pain. I'm very worried about it and tomorrow I will go to see another doctor. Any idea what may be the reason?

I've suffered for many years with pain in my right leg, especially in the inner side of my thigh. I was blaming this pain for causing my testicle to grow, or the testicle space to cause pain in my thigh. I may have a sciatic nerve problem too, and sometimes it is very painful. I also have a lot of pain in my right heel too. If I don't move too much I don't feel much pain. I just retired last year and am not in as much pain because I haven't worked in months.

To give you an idea, my testicle size is close to an avocado -- very tight and hard. I was checking to see if this could be a hernia but it looks like it isn't. Help me with your advice, please.

By anon966361 — On Aug 19, 2014

I had an operation on my left testicle to remove three cysts and after I came home, it started to swell. I was told I had a hernia inside and would need another operation, but since it was so close to the other surgery, I put it off. Two years later and I'm in the process of waiting for that operation. It is painful and feels like a burning sensation. I hope to get sorted soon,

By anon934970 — On Feb 23, 2014

I had an operation on an inguinal hernia at the age of 5. Afterward, I never visited the doctor for that. Now I am 21 years old and my testes are not doing their job. What should I do?

By anon339787 — On Jun 27, 2013

My name is Eiberto. I am 55 years old and weigh about 225 pounds. When I was 19 years old, I had an operation on the left side of my testicle due to a hernia, and I think it may be back again. I feel the same discomfort. My left testicle and scrotum feel full of liquid, and I feel like it is discharged from my penis. If I lie flat in bed, I can grab my testicle with both hands in a kind of squeeze until they shrink again and I feel a sensation of that liquid flowing and the pressure back to its place.

By anon334827 — On May 15, 2013

I can't feel any lump, just an enlarged testicle on one side, and excruciating pain. I have no idea what's going on. I just want it diagnosed and fixed. Also, contact with the right side sends a huge jolt through me and I want to scream.

By anon289591 — On Sep 05, 2012

What if I feel a lump inside my testicle, but there is no pain?

By raddmom — On Sep 03, 2012

Can a testicular hernia go away from one day to another? My grandfather has had a hernia for many years and it's huge, but now its gone all of a sudden and I'm very concerned. Can it just go away and should we be concerned? My grandfather is 91 years old.

By anon272818 — On Jun 03, 2012

Okay I am confused. I was told I had hernia when I was a kid, like 7 or something. But the only thing wrong with me is one of my testicles didn't drop as far as the other one, and I rarely get any pain if much at all. The doc just told me to hold it down, for periods of time. Anyway, it doesn't sound like hernia.

By anon231103 — On Nov 22, 2011

Will you still be able to have children after surgery, or does it really lower your count?

By anon92431 — On Jun 28, 2010

A testicle hernia is not a lump on the testicle. It is a lump inside the scrotum and is above the testicle.

By anon84744 — On May 17, 2010

how long does it take to recover?

By anon65934 — On Feb 16, 2010

the pain that comes with this type of hernia -- is it near the testicles or in the upper groin area?

is it on one side or both?

By anon52890 — On Nov 17, 2009

Is a testicle hernia the lump on the testicle?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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