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What is a groin lump?

A groin lump is any type of lump that is localized in the groin area, also known as the inguinal area.

Lumps can vary in size, shape, consistency, color and number depending on the cause of the lump.

A groin lump can have the same color as the skin, but in some cases, they can be red or purple. They can also be soft or solid and firm to touch, tender and painful or even asymptomatic. Lumps can also be mobile or immobile, or in some cases, they can even ulcerate. They can be small or large, and sometimes they can grow in size. There may be one lump, a few, or many.

What can cause a groin lump?

The main conditions that can cause groin lumps are:

  • Infection - localized infections cause red lumps, painful to touch and usually filled with fluid. They can break down, ulcerate or leak pus and fluid.
  • Inflammation
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) - like gonorrhea, chlamydia or herpes.
  • Cyst - a lump that is filled with fluid and usually harmless.
  • Saphena Varix - an enlarged vein, caused by a malfunction of a valve that doesn't open correctly and stops the blood flow. This way the blood gets collected in the vein. In some cases, the lump disappears when you lie down. This is an extremely rare condition and you are more likely to suffer from it if you have varicose and enlarged veins.
  • Trauma - any scar tissue, hematoma or even a bug bite.
  • Malignancy - lymphomas or cancer in the surrounding area that spreads into the lymph nodes of the groin, like testicular cancer.
  • Testicular torsion - a very serious condition that is usually common in puberty. It consists of the twisting of the spermatic cord, testicular pain, swollen groin, etc.
  • Lipoma - fatty growth of benign nature.
  • Inguinal Hernia - Lumps in this case can vary in size, they can get bigger with increased abdominal pressure, or even disappear with gentle pressure in the lump. They are typically soft to touch.
  • Allergy
You should seek medical help as soon as you notice a groin lump, because groin lumps can be harmless but can also be a life-threatening condition like testicular torsions, testicular cancer, lymphomas, incarcerated hernia, etc.

What other symptoms might you have?

A groin lump may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Fever and chills
  • Redness
  • Warmth in the affected area
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the genital area
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Genital ulcers
  • Unusual discharge from rectum, vagina or penis

How is a groin lump treated?

Treatment of groin lumps depends on its cause.

Cysts may be removed surgically, especially if they are large and painful. An inguinal hernia will also require surgical treatment and repair of the weakened abdominal wall. Infections, inflammations and STDs usually require treatment with antibiotics. In the case of malignancy surgery and chemotherapy is used.

Can groin lumps get complicated?

Complications of groin lumps - depending on their cause - are:

  • Spread of the infection
  • Spread of the cancer
  • Fertility problems
  • Testical removal
  • Dyspareunia (pain while having sexual intercourse)
  • Scarring

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