What is a hydrocele? It's no surprise that the phallic region of the body is one of the most sensitive and most anxiety conjuring regions of the male body. With many suffering from erectile dysfunction, some sort of STD like gonorrhea, or just plain nervousness, it has become man's top priority to ensure that the "factory" still has all of its working parts in order. In some cases, a man can develop abnormal swelling in the scrotum; it's painless, but nerve-wracking. Although some may immediately jump to thoughts of testicular cancer, there's another reason for the abnormal fluid buildup in the scrotum: a hydrocele.
The hydrocele is a condition, normally found in young newborns but in some cases adults, that occurs when serous fluid (protein and water enriched fluid) builds up in the scrotal cavity. This results in a swollen "balloon" scrotum, which is typically painless but can be psychologically nerve wracking. Fluid buildup usually begins around the seminal tube and then begins to fill either one or both sides of the scrotum. Thankfully the condition is relatively minor and can either clear up on its own or can be easily drained by a doctor.
How Does One Develop a Hydrocele? A hydrocele is usually separated into two forms: infantile and adult. During the later stages of pregnancy or just after birth, a boy's testicles begin to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. When this occurs, the opening from the abdominal cavity begins to close and seal, preventing the testicles or any other matter from entering the scrotal cavity. In about 10% of all male infants, the seal fails to completely separate the two areas, causing fluid from the abdomen to accumulate. In very rare cases, an adult can develop a hydrocele as well; it comes primarily from trauma or infection to the scrotal region. Blunt force to the testicles can cause fluid build up. Adult cases have the misfortune of being typically unable to self-correct, and have to be removed by a doctor.
Options for Treatment. Hydroceles come in two specific types: communicating and non-communicating. In communicating, hydroceles are the direct result of a hernia in between the scrotum and the abdomen; the channel between two regions failed to close and has to be fixed by a doctor otherwise more fluid will continue to enter; this is the type that afflicts primarily adults. Non-communicating hydroceles are the random build-up of fluid and is most commonly found in infants. Because non-communicating hydroceles are self-correcting (the hernia will eventually close), doctors will usually allow a year for the condition to pass before any action is taken.
Those who suffer from a hydrocele are urged to relax and visit a doctor. The condition itself is fairly minor and will typically have no lasting effect on the genitals; it is still advised that you schedule an appointment to ensure there is no underlying cause.