Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating the urinary tract and sex organs in men (urologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any testicular injuries.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is often limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. For spermatocele, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- Will the spermatocele affect my ability to have sex?
- Will this condition affect my fertility?
- Do I need treatment?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- How long after surgery do I need to wait before returning to normal activities?
- How long after surgery do I need to wait before resuming sexual activity?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- What types of symptoms are you experiencing?
- How often are you having symptoms?
- How long ago did your symptoms begin?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you experienced any trauma to your scrotal area?
What you can do in the meantime
If the spermatocele is causing pain, most people can safely take over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), to ease the discomfort.
- Spermatoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=117. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Brenner JS, et al. Causes of painless scrotal swelling in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Tiemestra JD, et al. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2008;78:1165.
- Wampler SM. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care Clinics Office Practice. 2010;37:613.
- Montgomery JS. The diagnosis and management of scrotal masses. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:235.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Jahnson S, et al. A randomized trial comparing 2 doses of polidocanol sclerotherapy for hydrocele or spermatocele. The Journal of Urology. 2011;186:1319.