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Can a hydrocele affect fertility?

Hydrocele has not been associated as a direct cause of infertility nor does it usually drastically affect the male's reproductive capacity.

However, it is important to bear in mind that in cases of large hydroceles and stress, the blood supply and testicular tissue may be compromised. In addition, there may be cases where the hydrocele is associated with testicular infections, factors that directly influence fertility and the possibility of pregnancy.

Are varicocele, spermatocele and hydrocele the same thing?
They are three testicular pathologies but they refer to totally different conditions. When we talk about varicocele, it is the dilation and tortuosity of the testicular veins and it is generally associated with a diminished reproductive capacity, the spermatocele, also called spermatic cyst, and is a cystic formation that usually contains liquid and sperm cells, is benign and forms in the epididymis. Finally, the hydrocele is the accumulation of liquid between the parietal and visceral layer of the tunica albuginea, associated with a defect in the peritoneal vaginal canal, which may or may not be in communication with the abdominal cavity. Despite being three different entities, they share similar symptoms and signs, such as a feeling of testicular heaviness, increased volume or testicular asymmetry and slight pain or discomfort in the scrotal region.
What are the warning signs after a hydrocelectomy?
After a hydrocelectomy, you should follow the post-operative care and assist your physician with any of these symptoms:
  • Swelling and redness of the scrotal area with progressive enlargement.
  • Sensitivity alterations or inflammation around the incision.
  • Bleeding or suppuration from the surgical wound.
  • Fever above 38 ºC.
  • Pain that does not subside with the recommended analgesics.
  • Persistent vomiting.
Does the presence of hydrocele represent any vital danger?

Presenting hydrocele does not represent any danger to the individual who suffers it, or to his testicles. However, this condition may be associated with testicular tumours and infections, inguinal hernias and testicular torsion, for this reason, a review with the medical specialist is necessary to evaluate the conditions of the disease and its association with other pathologies.

Emergency medical care should also be sought in cases where the scrotum suddenly increases in size, becomes tight and begins to be very painful.

Why does hydrocele occur in newborns and infants?

During the intrauterine development of men, the testicles descend through the peritoneal vaginal canal from the abdomen into the scrotum. This process is surrounded by a sac called tunica vaginalis, which has fluid inside it; normally this membrane closes before birth and the fluid is reabsorbed. In many cases, the tunic closes but the liquid is not reabsorbed forming a non-communicating hydrocele. In other cases, the tunic does not close and the liquid can pass freely from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum, forming a communicating hydrocele and with the possibility of an inguinal hernia.