Spermatocele: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
- Published on August 12, 2022
A spermatocele is a type of cyst that develops inside the epididymis. The epididymis is a coiled, duct-like tube located on the upper testicle. It connects the testis and the vas deferens.
The function of the epididymis is to collect and transport the sperm. The spermatocele is typically a noncancerous cyst. It does not cause any pain. It is filled with cloudy or translucent fluid that may contain sperm.
A spermatocele may also be known as a spermatic cyst. However, sometimes it can grow large and manifest as physical symptoms. It may require spermatocele surgery, which could impact one’s fertility levels.
Typically, the presence and growth of a spermatocele does not manifest as physical symptoms, especially if they grow up to a limited size. However, if a spermatocele grows too large, you may observe some physical symptoms:
- Pain or uneasiness inside the testicle where it is located
- A heaviness inside the testicle
- A scrotal swelling
There are no known causes that lead to the growth of spermatocele. They do not turn cancerous and are usually not considered to be a threat to health.
A thorough examination of the genital area can lead to the diagnosis of a spermatocele. It can manifest as physical pain or a swollen testicle when it grows too large. Your medical care provider may also conduct specific tests to gauge the condition.
This includes transillumination. A light is passed over through the scrotum, enabling the doctor to have a close look at the spermatocele.
If they are not able to detect the spermatocele, your medical care providers may ask you to get an ultrasound to have a look inside the scrotum and locate it.
Typically, people do not need treatment for spermatoceles as they tend to be harmless. If your medical care provider has detected their presence, they will monitor the spermatoceles on a regular basis during routine check-ups.
However, there are certain cases where spermatocele treatment is a necessity. When it results in pain and swellings, your medical care provider may recommend oral medications to cope with inflammation. However, there is no drug specifically available for its cure.
Two minimally invasive therapies are used to drain the spermatocele. However, they are not performed unless the cyst gets too large in size and manifests as pain and other physical symptoms.
- Using the aspiration procedure, your medical care provider will puncture the spermatocele with a needle. The fluid will drain out, and the cyst will then go away on its own.
- In sclerotherapy, your medical care provider will inject an irritating agent into the spermatocele. This causes the spermatocele to scar. It then heals gradually, and the scar prevents the fluid from rebuilding again.
However, these therapies are rarely used, as they may lead to damage of the epididymis. The incidence of damage can then lead to fertility issues.
The last option is spermatocelectomy, a surgical procedure which is a common treatment for recurring spermatocele.
Spermatocele surgery is performed with the aim of keeping the genital and reproductive system safe from harm. It is done using local anesthesia, and the procedure is completed within an hour’s time.
In certain cases, the epididymis or a part of it may also need to be removed. There is also potential for the vas deferens or sperm duct to be damaged. The sperm duct plays a key role in enabling fertility, as it is responsible for transporting sperm into the urethra in preparation for ejaculation.
Hence, it is extremely important to choose a credible medical care provider who can provide the right diagnosis and treatment while taking aspects like fertility into consideration. The spermatocele surgery must also be carried out with care so that fertility is not compromised.
Spermatocele surgery is not always required to treat spermatoceles, which typically do not cause harm to the body. However, if they grow too large in size, they can lead to pain and swelling, which, if not attended to, can cause damage over time to the scrotum area.
At times, the surgery can lead to the removal of the epididymis, which can impact fertility. It is best to approach a credible fertility specialist to get a diagnosis and seek professional spermatocele treatment.
To know more about fertility solutions in the case of retrograde ejaculation, visit your nearest Birla Fertility and IVF Clinic, or book an appointment with Dr. Rachita Munjal.
1. How do you get rid of a spermatocele?
A spermatocele can be treated either with invasive therapies like aspiration and sclerotherapy, which drain the fluid, or spermatocele surgery, which is an attempt to preserve the reproductive and genital systems.
2. How can I reduce my spermatocele naturally?
There is no known approach to getting rid of spermatocele naturally, despite claims that diets and herbal remedies can assist in the process. If they are not causing any physical harm, it is best to ignore their existence.
3. How long do spermatoceles last?
There is no fixed time frame for spermatoceles to last. At times, they last for a few months, or even years, without having any effect on bodily functions. Sometimes, they grow larger and may require treatment if they manifest as physical pain or swelling. They have the potential to grow to as large as 15 cm. Your medical care provider may recommend spermatocele surgery if required. If there are no physical symptoms such as pain or inflammation, you can leave them be.
4. Is spermatocele serious?/Is getting a spermatocele serious?
Most spermatocele cases are not serious. They can exist for many years without doing any kind of damage or affecting the natural functioning of the body. However, at times they may grow as large as 15 cm, which can bring on physical pain and discomfort. The testicles may also swell up. Your medical care provider may prescribe medications to reduce pain and inflammation or recommend surgical removal via spermatocele surgery.
5. Can you live with a spermatocele?
Yes, you can live with a spermatocele for long periods without adversely affecting your body and hindering your lifestyle.
Dr Rachita Munjal
Consultant – Birla Fertility and IVF
Dr Rachita Munjal completed her MBBS from Dr D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Pune and MS (Obstetrics and gynaecology) from Dr. D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth Pune. She has also completed her DAGE (Diploma in Advanced Gynae Endoscopy) from Germany and MRCOG-I (Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, UK) Membership Examination.
Over 12 years of experience
Fertility TreatmentsProblems with fertility are both emotionally and medically challenging. At Birla Fertility & IVF, we focus on providing you with supportive, personalized care at every step of your journey towards becoming a parent.
Male InfertilityMale factor infertility accounts for almost 40%-50% of all infertility cases. Decreased sperm function can be the result of genetic, lifestyle, medical or environmental factors. Fortunately, most causes of male factor infertility can be easily diagnosed and treated.
We offer a comprehensive range of sperm retrieval procedures and treatments for couples with male factor infertility or sexual dysfunction.