Mayo Clinic: Men’s Health Center


Scrotal ultrasound, also called sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of a man's testicles and surrounding tissues. It is the primary method used to help evaluate disorders of the testicles, epididymis (tubes immediately next to the testicles that collect sperm) and scrotum. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation. The images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.

Why it's done

Scrotal ultrasound is used for many reasons, including to:

  • Check for a varicocele (dilated veins of the testicle) that may be contributing to pain or infertility

  • Diagnose a hydrocele (swelling in the scrotum due to fluid surrounding the testicle)

  • Differentiate an inguinal hernia (a bulge of the intestines through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles) from a hydrocele

  • Diagnose causes of testicular pain or swelling such as inflammation or torsion

  • Confirm an infection of the testicle (orchitis) or the epididymis (epididymitis)

  • Evaluate the testicle or epididymis (structure next to the testicle where sperm are stored) for a mass

Did you know?

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