Spermatoceles are atypical cysts that grow near the upper portion of the testicles. These masses are filled with a milky colored fluid and normally they contain sperm. These cysts can grow to various sizes and they generally are not cancerous.
The reason why these cysts appear is not known and it is surmised that they might occur when one of the tubes that carry and hold sperm becomes obstructed. Another theory is that a blockage occurs when there is inflammation or trauma. Spermatoceles normally occur in adult males who are 20 to 50 years old.
Many men who have a spermatocele do not notice any symptoms unless the cyst grows large. If this happens, the testicle may be painful or it may feel uncomfortable. There may also be a sensation of weightiness in the scrotum. Individuals may be able to feel the growth over the top of the testicle.
It is not uncommon for individuals to have a spermatocele and not know it, but when a growth is found in the area of the testicles, it is important to have it examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, treatment is not necessary for a spermatocele and a physician will just recommend watching it for signs of growth. If the cyst becomes painful or too irritating, there are various treatments available. A physician may first prescribe medications for swelling and pain.
If necessary, an outpatient surgery, which is called a spermatocelectomy, is performed to remove the growth. Other procedures, though not as common, include an aspiration or sclerotherapy. During an aspiration procedure, a physician inserts a needle into the cyst and removes the fluid. While performing sclerotherapy, a substance that acts as an irritant is injected into the cyst. This causes scar tissue to form and close up the open area of the spermatocele.