Testicular Enlargement And How To Address That?
Sometimes inflammation, infection of testes or epididymis, or an injury to genital region may causes the testicles to become enlarged. The primary pathophysiology mainly revolves around the swelling of soft tissues in the genital region or a cyst or lump formation within the testicles. Depending upon the root cause, either one or both testicles can become enlarged. The associated symptoms include fever, swelling and pain. Rarely testicular enlargement also presents as a symptom of testicular cancer.
What Causes Testicular Enlargement?
Given below are some key factors that are responsible for unilateral or bilateral testicular enlargement:
- Injury or trauma
- Testicular torsion
- Cyst formation in the scrotum (spermatocele)
- Infection in the scrotal sac
- Inflamed testicles (orchitis)
- Viral infection, such as mumps, that can lead to inflamed testicles
- Inguinal hernia which is often presumed as enlarged testicles
- Testicular cancer
- Inflamed epididymis (epididymitis)
- Presence of varicose veins in the scrotum is also referred to as varicocele
It is very essential to pinpoint the underlying cause behind the enlarged testicles as some causes can be seriously life-threatening such as testicular torsion in which the blood flow to the testicles is affected. If not attended within 12 hours, the damage may become irreversible.
Diagnosis Of Abnormally Enlarged Testicles
In order to diagnose correctly, the medical practitioner should questions about various signs such as:
- Presence of a lump in the testicle
- Pain while urinating
- Presence of blood in the semen
- History of recent injury
Complications Associated With Enlarged Testicles
If the treatment does not begin at the right time, the condition can develop some serious complications. These complications include:
- Metastatic cancer
- Spread of infection
- Testicular infarction
- Scrotal abscess
- Testicles removal
Treatment of testicular enlargement is primarily dependent upon the severity of symptoms. It is better to seek medical assistance instead of opting self-treatment. A medical practitioner can thoroughly evaluate the pros and cons of suitable treatment options prior to initiating the treatment. A doctor may recommend following approaches:
- Lifestyle Modification:
If diagnosed early, testicular enlargement can be tackled with just simple healthy lifestyle changes like:
- Micturating every now and then
- Avoiding alcohol and coffee
- Avoiding medications such as antihistamine and decongestants
- Performing kegel exercises can help make the bladder muscles even stronger
- Supplementation And Herbs:
It is rumored that herbal treatments can help alleviate the symptoms associated with enlarged testicles. An extract of berries taken from saw palmetto shrub has proven to be very beneficial. Pyegum africanum extract and beta-sitosterol can also serve as alternatives. It is better to consult a practitioner first as some supplements can interfere with other medications or may simply aggravate the chances of bleeding.
A medical practitioner may prescribe following medicines for enlarges testicles:
- Alpha blockers: Alpha blockers work by relaxing the muscles around bladder and prostate so the urine may flow easily. (e.g. tamsulosin)
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor: They work by shrinking the prostate and retarding tissue growth by suppressing the hormones responsible for its growth. (e.g. Finasteride, Dutasteride)
These drugs may be given as combination therapy as well as monotherapy.
- Minimal Invasive Approach:
With minimal invasive treatment, the risk of side effects can be minimized as compared to conventional surgical treatment. Minimal invasive methods include:
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA)
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)
- Water induced thermotherapy
The main aim of these techniques is to destroy the extra tissue responsible for enlargement.
- Prostatic Stents:
If surgery fails to alleviate the symptoms, stent may be given due consideration. Stent is either made up of metal or plastic and is inserted into a narrow area through urethra. Once inside, it expands and pushes the tissues back making the urethra wider. This can help in getting rid of the obstruction in the urethra.
Surgery is usually a long-term approach for testicular enlargement. Open or laser surgery may be used based on the severity of condition.
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- Ganguri, M., Aggarwal, N., Jenkins, A., Joshi, A., Saysell, C., & James, R. A. (2015). Gonadotrophin secreting pituitary adenoma with hypersecretion of testosterone and testicular enlargement.
- Korwutthikulrangsri, M., Wattanatranon, D., Teeraratkul, S., Wijarn, P., Mahachoklertwattana, P., & Poomthavorn, P. (2017). Testicular enlargement in a pre-pubertal boy with adrenocortical tumour. Paediatrics and International Child Health, 1-3.