An epididymal cyst is a smooth, fluid-filled lump found on the testicles. Although some men may worry that they are a sign of cancer or another serious problem, epididymal cysts are in fact benign and thus not a health risk.
The cysts form when fluid builds up in a tube behind the testicles called the epididymis, which stores and transports sperm. It is possible to have more than one cyst at a time and they can appear on both testicles. Up to a third of men are affected by this condition and the cysts can develop at any time in life, although it is most likely to occur in those who are middle-aged.
Epididymal cysts can be very small, but some can grow to the same size as a testicle or even as large as a grapefruit! There are normally no symptoms unless a cyst becomes infected, in which case it may drain fluid and become painful or swollen. Larger epididymal cysts can cause some discomfort, which is usually the reason why some men opt to have them removed. This procedure involves a simple operation to cut the cyst out of the epididymis. However, if a cyst is not infected and does not cause any pain or discomfort, it is not necessary to treat it.
Although epididymal cysts are benign, it is still important to get any new or unusual lumps and bumps in your genital area checked out by a GP.
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