Scrotal Tuberculosis

Scrotal tuberculosis is a rare but serious condition where tuberculosis affects the tissues in the scrotum. In this article, we’ll explore what scrotal tuberculosis is, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis methods, treatment options, and preventive measures.

Scrotal tuberculosis is a form of tuberculosis that affects the tissues of the scrotum. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When this bacteria affects the scrotum, it leads to scrotal tuberculosis.

Types of Scrotal Tuberculosis:

There are no specific types of scrotal tuberculosis. However, it can manifest in different ways depending on the severity and extent of the infection.

Causes of Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection: The primary cause of scrotal tuberculosis is infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria.
  2. Spread from Other Organs: It can also occur when tuberculosis spreads from nearby organs or tissues to the scrotum.
  3. Weakened Immune System: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, are at higher risk.
  4. Close Contact: Close contact with someone who has active tuberculosis can increase the risk of contracting scrotal tuberculosis.
  5. Poor Living Conditions: Living in overcrowded or poorly ventilated areas where tuberculosis is prevalent can increase the risk.
  6. Unsanitary Practices: Poor hygiene practices, such as sharing contaminated needles, can also contribute to the spread of tuberculosis.
  7. Malnutrition: Malnourished individuals are more susceptible to tuberculosis infections.
  8. Smoking: Smoking weakens the immune system and increases susceptibility to infections, including tuberculosis.
  9. Alcohol Abuse: Excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system, making individuals more prone to infections.
  10. Chronic Illness: Certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney disease, can increase the risk of developing tuberculosis.
  11. Age: Older adults are more susceptible to tuberculosis infections.
  12. Travel to High-Risk Areas: Traveling to regions where tuberculosis is endemic increases the risk of exposure.
  13. Occupational Exposure: Healthcare workers and those working in environments with a high prevalence of tuberculosis are at increased risk.
  14. Poor Air Quality: Exposure to polluted air can weaken the respiratory system, making individuals more susceptible to tuberculosis.
  15. Genetic Factors: Certain genetic factors may predispose individuals to tuberculosis infections.
  16. Inadequate Healthcare Access: Limited access to healthcare facilities and diagnostic services can delay diagnosis and treatment.
  17. Drug Resistance: Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis can pose challenges in treatment.
  18. Substance Abuse: Intravenous drug use and other forms of substance abuse can increase the risk of tuberculosis.
  19. Crowded Living Conditions: Living in overcrowded households or institutions increases the risk of tuberculosis transmission.
  20. Poorly Managed Treatment: Inadequate or incomplete treatment of tuberculosis can lead to recurrence or complications, including scrotal tuberculosis.

Symptoms of Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Swelling: Swelling of the scrotum is a common symptom of scrotal tuberculosis.
  2. Pain: Pain or discomfort in the scrotal region may occur, especially during movement or palpation.
  3. Nodules or Masses: Palpable nodules or masses may develop within the scrotum.
  4. Abscess Formation: In severe cases, abscesses may form in the scrotal tissues.
  5. Redness or Discoloration: The skin overlying the scrotum may appear red or discolored.
  6. Fever: Systemic symptoms such as fever may accompany scrotal tuberculosis, especially if the infection is widespread.
  7. Night Sweats: Profuse sweating, particularly at night, can occur due to the body’s immune response to the infection.
  8. Fatigue: Generalized fatigue or weakness may be present, especially in advanced cases.
  9. Loss of Appetite: Some individuals may experience a loss of appetite or weight loss.
  10. Difficulty Urinating: Compression of the urethra by swollen tissues may lead to difficulty urinating.
  11. Testicular Discomfort: Discomfort or pain originating from the testicles may occur.
  12. Foul-Smelling Discharge: In cases of abscess formation, a foul-smelling discharge may drain from the scrotum.
  13. Enlarged Lymph Nodes: Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area may accompany scrotal tuberculosis.
  14. Difficulty Walking: Severe swelling or pain may impair mobility and cause difficulty in walking.
  15. Ulceration: Ulceration of the scrotal skin may occur in advanced cases.
  16. Systemic Symptoms: In severe or disseminated cases, systemic symptoms such as chills and malaise may be present.
  17. Sexual Dysfunction: Rarely, scrotal tuberculosis may lead to sexual dysfunction or infertility.
  18. Symptoms of Tuberculosis: In addition to scrotal symptoms, individuals may experience symptoms associated with pulmonary or extrapulmonary tuberculosis, such as cough, chest pain, and respiratory symptoms.
  19. Chronic Drainage: Chronic drainage from the scrotum, often purulent or bloody, may occur in advanced cases.
  20. Psychological Impact: Chronic pain and discomfort associated with scrotal tuberculosis may have psychological effects, including anxiety and depression.

Diagnostic Tests for Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Physical Examination: A thorough examination of the scrotum and surrounding tissues by a healthcare provider.
  2. Medical History: Inquiring about symptoms, risk factors, and previous tuberculosis infections.
  3. Scrotal Ultrasound: Imaging test using sound waves to visualize the structures of the scrotum and assess for abnormalities such as swelling, masses, or abscesses.
  4. Biopsy: Removal of a small tissue sample from the affected area for laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of tuberculosis infection.
  5. Microscopic Examination: Microscopic examination of tissue samples or fluid aspirates to detect the presence of acid-fast bacilli characteristic of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  6. Culture and Sensitivity Testing: Culturing of tissue samples to isolate and identify the specific strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and assess for drug sensitivity.
  7. Molecular Testing: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to detect the genetic material of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in tissue samples or bodily fluids.
  8. Tuberculin Skin Test (Mantoux Test): Injection of purified protein derivative (PPD) under the skin and assessment of the immune response to determine previous exposure to tuberculosis.
  9. Chest X-ray: Imaging of the chest to assess for pulmonary tuberculosis or evidence of previous tuberculosis infection.
  10. Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: Detailed imaging of the chest and abdomen to assess for spread of tuberculosis to other organs or tissues.
  11. Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA): Insertion of a thin needle into the scrotal mass to aspirate fluid or tissue for analysis.
  12. Histopathological Examination: Examination of tissue samples under a microscope to assess for characteristic features of tuberculosis infection.
  13. Cytological Examination: Examination of cells obtained from fluid aspirates for abnormalities suggestive of tuberculosis.
  14. Gamma Interferon Release Assay (IGRA): Blood test to detect the release of interferon-gamma by T cells in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens.
  15. PCR Testing of Body Fluids: PCR testing of bodily fluids such as urine or semen to detect the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  16. Immunological Assays: Blood tests to detect antibodies or other immune markers associated with tuberculosis infection.
  17. Imaging of Adjacent Organs: Imaging studies such as abdominal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess for involvement of adjacent organs or structures.
  18. GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay: Molecular diagnostic test to simultaneously detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance.
  19. Serological Tests: Blood tests to detect antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens, although these tests are generally less reliable for diagnosis.
  20. Follow-Up Testing: Serial monitoring of symptoms, imaging studies, and laboratory tests to assess treatment response and detect any complications.

Non-Pharmacological Treatments for Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Rest and Elevation: Resting the affected area and elevating the scrotum to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  2. Warm Compresses: Applying warm compresses to the scrotum to alleviate pain and promote drainage of abscesses.
  3. Hygiene Practices: Maintaining good hygiene practices, including regular bathing and cleaning of the scrotal area.
  4. Supportive Garments: Wearing supportive undergarments or scrotal support devices to provide comfort and reduce strain on the affected tissues.
  5. Nutritional Support: Ensuring adequate nutrition to support the immune system and promote healing.
  6. Physical Therapy: In cases of mobility impairment or muscle weakness, physical therapy may be beneficial to improve strength and function.
  7. Psychological Support: Providing psychological support and counseling to address the emotional impact of scrotal tuberculosis and chronic pain.
  8. Education and Counseling: Educating patients and their families about the condition, treatment options, and preventive measures.
  9. Occupational Therapy: Assisting individuals in adapting their daily activities and routines to accommodate any functional limitations.
  10. Lifestyle Modifications: Encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, including smoking cessation, moderate alcohol consumption, and regular exercise.

Drugs Used in the Treatment of Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Antitubercular Drugs: First-line drugs such as isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide are commonly used to treat tuberculosis infections.
  2. Second-Line Drugs: In cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis, second-line drugs such as fluoroquinolones, injectable agents (e.g., kanamycin, amikacin), and other antibiotics may be prescribed.
  3. Steroids: Corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms in severe cases of scrotal tuberculosis.
  4. Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to alleviate pain and discomfort.
  5. Topical Antimicrobials: Topical antimicrobial agents may be used to prevent secondary infections or promote wound healing in cases of ulceration or abscess formation.
  6. Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat secondary bacterial infections or prevent complications.
  7. Antifungals: Antifungal medications may be necessary if fungal infections coexist with scrotal tuberculosis or develop as a complication of treatment.
  8. Antiseptics: Antiseptic solutions or ointments may be applied to the scrotal area to prevent infection and promote healing.
  9. Analgesics: Prescription analgesic medications may be necessary for pain management in severe cases.
  10. Immunomodulators: Immunomodulatory agents may be used to modulate the immune response and enhance the body’s ability to fight infection.

Surgeries for Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Abscess Drainage: Surgical drainage of abscesses may be necessary to remove pus and infected tissue and promote healing.
  2. Debridement: Surgical debridement may be performed to remove necrotic or damaged tissue and improve the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy.
  3. Biopsy: Surgical biopsy of scrotal masses or nodules may be necessary to obtain tissue samples for laboratory analysis.
  4. Orchiectomy: In severe cases of scrotal tuberculosis with extensive tissue damage or involvement of the testicles, surgical removal of one or both testicles (orchiectomy) may be necessary.
  5. Scrotal Exploration: Surgical exploration of the scrotum may be performed to assess the extent of disease and identify any complicating factors.
  6. Lymph Node Dissection: Surgical removal of affected lymph nodes in the groin area may be necessary if there is evidence of lymphatic spread.
  7. Reconstructive Surgery: In cases of extensive tissue damage or deformity, reconstructive surgery may be considered to restore the normal appearance and function of the scrotum.
  8. Fistula Repair: Surgical repair of fistulas or abnormal connections between the scrotum and adjacent structures may be necessary to prevent recurrence or complications.
  9. Hematoma Evacuation: Surgical evacuation of hematomas or collections of blood within the scrotum may be necessary to relieve pressure and prevent complications.
  10. Implantation of Prosthetic Testicle: In cases where one or both testicles are removed, implantation of a prosthetic testicle may be considered for cosmetic purposes.

Preventive Measures for Scrotal Tuberculosis:

  1. Tuberculosis Vaccination: Vaccination with the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can help prevent tuberculosis infections, including scrotal tuberculosis.
  2. Screening and Early Detection: Regular screening for tuberculosis and prompt treatment of active infections can help prevent complications such as scrotal tuberculosis.
  3. Infection Control Measures: Practicing good infection control measures, such as covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and proper disposal of respiratory secretions, can help prevent the spread of tuberculosis.
  4. Isolation of Infectious Individuals: Isolating individuals with active tuberculosis until they are no longer infectious can prevent transmission to others.
  5. Contact Tracing: Identifying and screening close contacts of individuals with active tuberculosis can help detect and treat infections early.
  6. Treatment Adherence: Ensuring adherence to prescribed antitubercular treatment regimens can prevent the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis and complications such as scrotal tuberculosis.
  7. Health Education: Educating the public about the signs and symptoms of tuberculosis, the importance of early detection and treatment, and preventive measures can help reduce the burden of disease.
  8. Improving Living Conditions: Addressing social determinants of health such as poverty, overcrowding, and poor sanitation can help reduce the risk of tuberculosis transmission.
  9. Nutritional Support: Ensuring adequate nutrition, especially in high-risk populations, can support immune function and reduce susceptibility to tuberculosis infections.
  10. Access to Healthcare: Improving access to healthcare services, including diagnostic facilities and treatment programs, can facilitate early detection and management of tuberculosis infections.

When to See a Doctor:

It’s important to see a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms or risk factors associated with scrotal tuberculosis:

  • Swelling, pain, or discomfort in the scrotal area
  • Presence of nodules, masses, or abscesses in the scrotum
  • Redness, discoloration, or ulceration of the scrotal skin
  • Fever, night sweats, fatigue, or weight loss
  • Difficulty urinating or walking due to scrotal symptoms
  • History of tuberculosis exposure or risk factors for tuberculosis infection
  • Persistent symptoms or concerns about scrotal health


Scrotal tuberculosis is a rare but serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications and long-term sequelae. By understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and preventive measures associated with scrotal tuberculosis, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their health and well-being. If you experience any symptoms suggestive of scrotal tuberculosis or have concerns about your scrotal health, it’s essential to seek medical attention promptly for evaluation and management. With early intervention and appropriate care, the prognosis for scrotal tuberculosis can be favorable, and complications can be minimized.


Disclaimer: Each person’s journey is unique, treatment plan, life style, food habit, hormonal condition, immune system, chronic disease condition, previous medical  history is also unique. So always seek the best advice from a qualified medical professional or health care provider before trying any treatments to ensure to find out the best plan for you. This guide is for general information and educational purposes only. If you or someone are suffering from this disease condition bookmark this website or share with someone who might find it useful! Boost your knowledge and stay ahead in your health journey. Thank you for giving your valuable time to read the article.