Swollen Scrotum or Hydrocele

What is a hydrocele?

A hydrocele is a scrotal swelling caused by fluid surrounding the testes. It is the most commonly present in infancy after birth. A hydrocele may appear later in childhood but this is uncommon. A hydrocele may vary in size, becoming smaller at night or in the morning after sleep and larger during the day when your child is more upright.
Hydroceles are not tender; they do not cause discomfort to the child, they are not red or bluish in color, and will normally resolve on their own by one to one and a half years of age.

When should I contact my pediatrician?

  • You should contact your physician if your child is crying, irritable, vomiting, and/or the scrotal area is tender to the touch.
  • If you notice reddish or bluish coloration change of the scrotal area, prompt notification is important as soon as possible to your pediatrician. Do not wait to see if it goes away.
  • If any injury has occurred to the scrotal area and you take notice color changes, increased swelling, or your child is in pain, contact your physician immediately.
  • If a hydrocele is present after 1 year of age, surgical intervention may be necessary for it to resolve. Discuss this with your pediatrician.