Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Preventive measures in Hydrocele
Observe and Wait – One in every 10 babies is born with hydrocele. There is simply no way to prevent this. If hydrocele is noted in the child, one should consult a doctor and keep the child under close observation. In most cases, it is painless and self correcting condition. So, the best course of action would be to keep close watch on the child for 1 year. The hydrocele will disappear in most cases within that time.
Prenatal care – Hydroceles develop before birth, therefore cannot be prevented in newborn infants. However proper prenatal care can help prevent premature births and reduce the risk for hydroceles in baby boys.
Preventing injury – Adults can take steps towards protecting the genital area from injury. Example, they can wear a protective athletic cup and follow safety rules when playing sports. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and eating right things and avoiding sexually transmitted infections by taking protection and having safe sex practices are also recommended to help prevent hydrocele.
Avoid pressure activities – If hydrocele has already developed or if surgery has already been done, one should avoid those activities that put pressure on the scrotum. Example, riding on the horseback and other similar outdoor activities should be avoided.
Treat cough – Treat a recurrent or chronic cough immediately. Coughing raises intra-abdominal pressure and puts a strain
Check and correct constipation – Check for the tendency to constipate, constipation causes one to strain at stool which again increases the intra-abdominal pressure
Prevent hernia – Care should be taken to prevent or promptly attend hernia
Avoid straining – To prevent hydrocele from coming back (after operation or aspiration), certain precautions are necessary. One should avoid straining the groin area. One should also stop doing strenuous physical activities for a few days.
Scrotal supports (on medical advice) – reduces strain on the scrotum and also protects it from the injury.
Avoid straining – Straining at stools should be avoided as it may exacerbate the effect of hydrocele.
Safe sex – Hydrocele may develop as a secondary infection to some sexually transmitted infection. So one needs to be selective and cautious in sexual activity, use protection and have safe sex to reduce the chances of infection leading to hydrocele.
Use Condoms – while having sex and also use a new condom when having sex in order to significantly reduce your risk of infection.
Seek medical attention – If your baby boy has swollen scrotum which doesn’t disappear after a year, or if it continues to get larger, immediately seek attention. Men should see a doctor if the hydrocele persists for more than 6 months or if it gets big enough to cause pain / discomfort or disfigurement. Seek medical attention if you experience scrotal swelling and fever because this may indicate testicular infection which in turn may cause hydrocele. Also see doctor if the hydrocele is affecting the way you run, walk or sit.
Watch family history – In rare cases, hydrocele develops as a side effect of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Therefore if you have a family history of this disease, you need to keep a watch for hydrocele and take some preventive measures.
Read related: Hydrocele Testis: Modern aspect, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Tough it is not wise to try home remedies in hydrocele, the below mentioned tips can be followed for short period until you see a doctor or when you have been kept waiting for surgery. In mild to moderate conditions few of the below mentioned home remedies have been tried. Results are variable.
Exclusive Fruit Diet – Take 3 meals a day comprising of apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, pineapple etc. Only fruits should be taken for 3-5 days. Tinned fruits or fruit juices should be avoided.
Boiled vegetables – Take boiled vegetables or fresh vegetable salad for lunch and dinner.
Eggs and bread – Scrambled eggs with whole wheat bread and butter is also helpful
- All forms of stimulants like alcohol, tea, coffee
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Any form of activities that would cause strain in the lower portion of body like weight lifting, strenuous physical exercises, standing for long periods of time etc
- Straining at stools or while urination
- All refined, tinned, canned and processed foods
- Tight clothing
- Large meals at evening or night
- Sleeping down immediately after meals
Hip baths – with cold water, 3 times a day, for 15-20 minutes have been proven to be beneficial
Hot Epsom salt bath – once or twice a week is recommended in hydrocele. Epsom salt bath should be given when there is a painless swelling in testicles or scrotum. To warm water, at least few cups of Epsom salt should be added. One should relax in the tub filled with salt added water for at least 15-20 minutes with your legs slightly spread, so that the water engulfs your scrotum. The warmth of the water can stimulate the movement of body fluids (may help unblock a blockage) and the salt can pull fluid out through your skin and reduce swelling. Epsom salt is also a rich source of magnesium which helps to relax muscles, tendons and soothe any type of tenderness associated with scrotal swelling and hydrocele.
If there is pain associated with hydrocele, then exposing the scrotum to warm water (or any source of heat) may worsen inflammation and also make other symptoms worse. The bath should not be made too hot. The patient should also not be allowed to sit in the tub for long time (so as to prevent dehydration).
Scrotal supports – conservative way of managing hydrocele
Lemon water – Unsweetened lemon water or plain water can be taken
Warm water enema – will help
Go out – Fresh air, out-door exercise, sun-bathing should be undertaken
Suspensor bandage – wearing it will help in case of hydrocele
External application – Make a paste of 5 grams of black pepper and 10 grams of cumin powder in hot water. Apply this paste warm over the scrotum.
Exercise – regularly, avoid strenuous physical activities
Healthy diet – to provide necessary nutrients to all parts of the body
No heat – Do not apply heat or pressure to the affected area as it can produce side effects
Ice – Apply ice compresses to reduce pain and swelling in the abdominal area
Regular exercise – needed for boosting up the strength of the muscles, also helps maintain normal weight. Don’t exercise immediately after meals as it can aggravate pain and can cause more problems.
Clothing – Do not wear tight clothes as they can aggravate pressure, wear loose clothes
Changes with eating – Don’t eat big meals in the evening, don’t lie down or sleep immediately after eating, keep a gap of at least 2 hours between eating meals and sleeping, eat small meals frequently throughout the day to prevent hernia.
Eat lot of fruits and vegetables – This helps against constipation naturally and also provides best nutrients
Ginger and Ginger tea – Ginger is anti-inflammatory and helps to prevent pain and swelling in the abdomen. 1 cup of ginger tea when taken every day boosts up immunity
Black tea – helpful in those suffering from hernia, soothes pain and gives relief from swelling in the abdomen
Yoghurt – is a natural treatment of hernia, it gives instant relief from pain and swelling of hernia
Water – most important thing that can be used for treatment of hernia, drink more water to ease the pain and to keep self hydrated
Know your disease – Recognize the signs and symptoms of hydrocele, keep intimated about the disease.
Be patient with hydrocele – In vast majority of cases among baby boys, teenagers and men, hydroceles go away on their own without any specific treatment. The blockage or congestion near the testicles resolves itself and the hydrocele drains and gets absorbed into the body. Thus, if you notice an enlarged scrotum and it is not painful or causing problems with urination or during sex, give it some time to resolve itself.
Other strategies which are tried in Hydrocele –
Neem water enema
Juice of Aloe Vera (Kumari) and Amla (Indian gooseberry) mixed in equal portions, taken on empty stomach, once or twice daily
Wheat grass juice – twice daily (100 ml each serving)
Yoga for hydrocele
Though it is not proved that Yoga cures hydrocele, the below mentioned Yoga postures (asanas) have helped to those who have been suffering from Hydrocele. They are –
Vajrasana – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLsZLHCWPlE
Garudasana – The Eagle pose – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC9XQWc6ukk
Gomukhasana – Cow head pose – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7_AEnSQ50Y
Kapalbhati – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6d7_oJGzKQ
Bahya Pranayama – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhcgkEE6ioM
Mandukasana – Frog Pose – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR4pOyUeQ3o
Shashankasana – Hare posture – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgWlGP36qG4
Just Before Finishing –
Prevention is better than cure’ is an age old proverb and is also the key for healthy living. This rule holds good for hydrocele also. This article is written with the purpose of sharing the ‘prevention tips’, home remedies and Yoga postures which might be helpful in dealing with hydrocele of testes with our readers.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)