Hydroceles are most common in babies but usually disappear within the first year of life. Hydroceles can also develop later in life. For example, a hydrocele may be caused by:

  • an injury to the testicle
  • an infection of the testicle
  • a previous operation on the testicle or in the groin area
  • another health condition

Usually, hydroceles are painless and disappear without treatment. In some cases, however, a hydrocele can grow bigger and cause pain, swelling and discomfort in your scrotum. You may then be offered a short procedure to remove or repair the fluid-filled sac. You are given a general anaesthetic, which means that you are asleep and do not feel any pain. The surgeon makes a small cut in your scrotum and drains the fluid in the sac around your testicle. The sac is either removed or turned inside out and stitched in place to prevent more fluid from collecting.

See your GP if you experience any scrotal swelling to rule out any other possible causes. In many cases, you may be advised to watch and wait for the hydrocele to go away on its own.