An Epididymal Cyst is a fluid-fill sac that develops in the epididymis which is a small tube located near to the upper testicle.
Often, these are caused when sperm collects in the epididymis and they develop for no apparent reason. They are more common than people might realise which means that around 30% of men will suffer with them.
Epididymal Cysts are pretty common. They affect close to 1 in 3 adult men. Epididymal Cysts can affect people at any age, but they commonly appear in men around 20 – 50 years old.
Epididymal Cysts are benign cysts, which means they are not cancer. There is no evidence to suggest a Epididymal Cysts could turn into cancer. Having an Epididymal Cysts does not increase your testicular cancer risk.
Epididymal Cysts vary in size. They may look like:
Your doctor will carry out a few tests to ensure that it is a cyst and not a tumour. This will begin with a physical examination and then an ultrasound. A transillumination test may help to determine whether this is a cyst or a mass, although an ultrasound of the testis will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
In the majority of cases, they are painless and so, there might not be any apparent symptoms. However, most will come across the lump when examining the testicles. If they cyst increases in size then it is common to feel a heaviness in the testicle and you might also notice a mass or swelling.
In many cases, there is no need for treatment while any pain or discomfort can be managed with painkillers. If an infection is present then patients are prescribed antibiotics. In rare cases and if the cyst is affecting everyday life then surgery may be necessary. Here, the surgeon will make an incision and remove the cyst. However, it is important that such surgery is not carried out in men who wish to father a child as removal of the cyst can cause a blockage to the sperm on that side.