A spermatocele, also referred to as an epididymal cyst, is an atypical growth of a cyst that is filled with fluid and is found in the epididymis. The epididymis is a small, coiled tube located on the upper testicle that collects and transports sperm. Spermatocele is not cancerous. It is usually painless. The fluid inside a spermatocele is usually clear or milky and may contain sperm.

The size of spermatoceles differs.

  • Nothing: A few cysts are too small to be felt or seen and therefore only medical imaging, such ultrasound, is able to detect these cysts.
  • Pea-sized lump: Many spermatoceles have the appearance of a little bump that lies above or behind a testis. Most resemble peas in size and shape.
  • Large growth: Spermatoceles can occasionally get rather big. Some men claim that a big spermatocele resembles a third testicle.

Main functions of epididymis include keeping and delivering sperm from the testicle. Since the exact cause of spermatoceles is unknown, one of the sperm-transporting tubes may have become blocked or inflammed.

Because spermatoceles are benign cysts, they are not cancerous. There is no evidence to suggest that a spermatocele can progress into a malignant (cancerous) growth. Furthermore, having a spermatocele does not increase the likelihood of developing testicular cancer.

Often, the condition does not affect fertility or required treatment. The healthcare provider could advise surgery, if a spermatocele becomes large enough to be uncomfortable.


Spermatocele typically shows no signs and symptoms, and its size may stay unchanged. But if it gets big enough, patient might experience the following:

  • Pain or uncomfortable at the affected testicle
  • Swelling of the scrotum
  • Fullness above and behind the testicle
  • Heaviness at the testicle

Spermatocele typically doesn’t cause symptoms, a patient may only become aware of it through a testicular self-exam or a healthcare provider may uncover it during a routine physical examination.

Any scrotal tumor should be examined by a healthcare provider to rule out more serious conditions including testicular cancer. Call the physician if the patient also has pain or swelling in the scrotum. There are several disorders that can cause testicular pain, some of which require immediate medical attention.


A spermatocele is a condition in which sperm accumulates in a certain area of the epididymis. Spermatoceles may be caused by a blockage in one of the many tubes in the epididymis that store and carry sperm from the testicle.

Risk factors

There aren’t many well-established risk factors for spermatocele development.

  • Age: It is common men at age 40 years old and above.
  • Medication: The risk increase to those mothers who received the medication diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy to avoid miscarriage and other pregnancy problems. Concerns regarding a rise in the incidence of uncommon vaginal cancer in females led to the termination of use of this medication.