Christmas Sale Now On!
🎁View our festive offers here 🎁

🎁 Christmas Sale Now On! View our festive offers here 🎁

BLACK FRIDAY – Up to 50% Off Tests, Refills & Supplements

Everything you need to know about Spermatoceles

Worried you’ve got a spermatocele? If you find a lump in your balls, it’s understandable to feel concerned. Especially if you fall down a Google hole and only hear the worst. The truth is that a spermatocele is generally nothing to worry about – but it’s helpful to understand exactly what it is and how it can be treated, so you can put your mind at ease.

Here we’ll explain exactly what a spermatocele is and how it differs from more sinister lumps and bumps in your junk.


So, what is a spermatocele? 

A spermatocele is a cyst that develops in the epididymis – a coiled tube behind each testicle that collects and transports sperm. This is a pretty common condition, affecting about 30% of men. For most people, a spermatocele won’t cause any pain, discomfort or complications.


What are the causes?

We know that a spermatocele is a blockage in the tubes that transport sperm, but we don’t yet know what causes this. This means there’s nothing you can do to prevent a spermatocele, but also means there’s no sense in dwelling on the possibility of it happening. 


What are the symptoms? 

Spermatoceles are generally painless so they can easily go unnoticed. They also can’t be seen during a visual exam because they’re contained within the scrotum, but they can be felt. 

A spermatocele will feel like a smooth, firm lump near the top of or behind the testicle. The mass is in the scrotum, not the testicles so don’t worry, it isn’t a sign of testicular cancer.


How do I check my testicles effectively?

It’s always good to check in with your testicular health, as testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer among 20-40 years old men. 

Our article “How To Self-Examine Your Testicles” will guide you through how to check yourself, and what to look out for. You should perform a self-check once a month, this way you’re less likely to miss any changes. If you feel a firm lump near the testicle, then it may be a spermatocele.

Your doctor can typically use a physical examination to diagnose a spermatocele. They can also perform a transillumination by passing a light through the scrotum so they can clearly examine the system to make sure it is a spermatocele.


How can I tell whether it’s a spermatocele or cancer? 

Feeling any kind of hard lump where it shouldn’t be is always a shock. Feeling one on your scrotum may be a bigger scare. 

The big difference between a spermatocele and testicular cancer is that a spermatocele isn’t on the testicle, but in the scrotum and the cords and veins going to your testis. A testicular tumour will generally appear as a hard lump on the testis.


spermatocele or cancer


Checking your balls regularly can help you notice the difference, but it’s impossible to give yourself a reliable diagnosis. It may be tempting to feel something unusual, Google it and brush it off as a harmless cyst. But that can lead to really dangerous consequences. Lumps on or around the testes may be harmless cysts, but they could also be symptoms of mumps, chlamydia, cancer, or hernia. Therefore, they can’t be ignored and the only way to really tell the difference is with a medical check – so be sure to give your doctor a call.


How can you get rid of a spermatocele? 

For most people, a spermatocele won’t cause any pain, discomfort, or complications, so there’s no need to get rid of it. Instead, your doctor will just monitor it regularly and ask you to do the same.

If a spermatocele becomes too large and potentially painful, then treatment may be necessary. Since there’s still much to be done for spermatocele treatment and research, the options are limited:

Medical therapy. You can take oral medication such as aspirin to help reduce pain and swelling, however there isn’t any medication specifically for spermatocele.

Minimally invasive therapy. There are two options your doctor may take to reduce or remove the spermatocele:

Aspiration. The doctor takes a needle, punctures the spermatocele and drains the fluid.

Sclerotherapy. The doctor injects an irritating agent into the cyst. This promotes healing and discourages the fluid from accumulating again.

Now, both these options can work but they’re generally not performed. This is because there’s a risk of damaging the tube – the epididymis – which would lead to more severe fertility complications. It’s also quite common for spermatocele to come back after this procedure, so it isn’t a guaranteed fix.

The final option is surgical therapy. This would be a spermatocelectomy, and is only necessary for symptomatic cases of spermatocele. A spermatocelectomy is done to remove the cyst while keeping the genitals intact and unharmed, and it can be performed in under an hour. 

However, there are cases where the epididymis will be partially or entirely removed during a spermatocele, which may cause infertility.


Can a spermatocele cause infertility? 

Now, in case you’re deeply worried after reading through that, the good news is that a spermatocele isn’t known to cause infertility. It is usually a totally symptomless condition which won’t cause you any difficulty.

The risk of infertility comes with the treatments, not the cyst itself. This doesn’t mean it’s worth ignoring swelling or pain, but if you’re looking at the possibility of needing medical treatment, talk through fertility with your doctor. If there’s a risk of becoming infertile after a necessary treatment, you can always freeze your swimmers for the future!


So, spermatocele? Not something to spend too much time worrying about. It’s very common, and rarely develops into a bigger issue. Remember to give yourself monthly checks and report any suspicious changes to your doctor. Your body can be pretty good at letting you know when something is wrong, so be sure to listen to it.



ExSeed sperm test

Learn more about our device

More to explore


Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.