Kidney, Reproductive and Urinary Conditions

Hydrocele Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of Hydrocele

In most cases, neither simple nor communicating hydroceles cause pain or many other symptoms.

If your son has a communicating hydrocele, you may notice his scrotum changes size over the course of the day. This is because fluid is either filling the sac or draining back into his belly. This swelling in the scrotum may be on one or both sides. Your son's scrotum may swell more when he is active or crying. It may decrease in size when he's relaxed or resting.

A simple hydrocele will stay the same size over the course of the day. It will very slowly get smaller over time. Simple hydroceles usually disappear before a boy's first birthday.

Hydrocele Diagnosis

Your baby's doctor will carefully examine your son's belly area and groin, looking and feeling for a swollen scrotum that is not painful. Sometimes the doctor can't feel a boy's testicles because there is so much fluid in the scrotum. The doctor may also be able to make the size of the sac bigger or smaller by pressing on the boy's belly or scrotum.

Sometimes doctors shine a light through the swollen scrotum. If your son has a hydrocele, the scrotum will look like it is full of clear fluid. If the doctor can see other tissue, the baby might have a hernia.

In some cases, the doctor might ask your son to have an ultrasound exam to make sure of the diagnosis.