Read below about groin lump, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your groin lump from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having groin lump

Groin Lump Quiz

Groin Lump Symptoms

The groin, or inguinal region, is the area between the abdomen and the thigh on either side of the pubic bone.

A lump in this area can be concerning as it is often associated with groin lump symptoms such as:

  • Groin pain or discomfort, especially when changing positions
  • A heaviness or dragging sensation in the groin
  • A burning or aching sensation
  • Changes in appearance of the lump during activities such as standing, coughing or straining
  • Tenderness
  • Fever

Make an appointment with your physician if you experience these groin lump symptoms in order to get appropriate treatment and counseling.

Groin Lump Causes Overview

There are various specific structures within the groin region – muscles, nerves, arteries, and ligaments.

  • Muscles. The muscles of the groin are the adductor muscles. These muscles allow you to bring your thighs together and work with other muscles in movements such as bringing the knees to the chest. Furthermore, the muscles of the abdomen also connect in this area.
  • Nerves. The nerve that provides sensation and innervation to the groin area is the obturator nerve. Other nerves such as the femoral and lateral cutaneous also pass through this area but do not give direct sensation to the groin.
  • Lymphatics and underneath the skin there are three to five lymph nodes – structures throughout the body that play an important role in allowing the body to fight off infections.
  • Inguinal ligament. The inguinal ligament is a band of fibrous tissues that helps protect and support the other tissues of the lower extremities. The inguinal ligament forms the bottom of the inguinal canal (a triangle shaped opening in the groin where the spermatic cord (the cord that holds up the testicles) passes from the abdomen to the scrotum.

Conditions that affect these structures can result in lumps in the groin area.

Hernia

A hernia occurs when part of an organ pushes through an opening or weakness in the muscles/tissues that surround it. The protruding organ can result in a noticeable lump or bulge in the area. Hernias in the groin are called inguinal hernias, and there are two types that can form.

  • Direct. This type of inguinal hernia occurs when the abdominal muscles become weak. A portion of the intestine can push through this weakened wall and form a lump in the groin.
  • Indirect. This type of inguinal hernia occurs due to a defect during infant development. In boys, a structure called the inguinal ring allows the testicles to drop into the scrotum during development but closes after the process completes. When the ring does not close properly, a part of the intestine can push through creating a lump in the groin.

See this image here for a visual representation of the structural differences between a direct and indirect hernia.

Other Groin Lump Causes

  • Lymphatic. The lymph nodes are structures that contain immune cells that fight infection and filter harmful substances from the body. When these structures become infected, they can swell and result in palpable lumps. The groin contains many lymph nodes that are susceptible to infection and swelling. If swollen lymph nodes are causing the lump in your groin, you may also experience tenderness and fever as well.
  • Cancerous. Testicular or penile cancers may also present as swollen lymph nodes in the groin, so it is very important to follow up with your doctor if you notice a lump in that area accompanied by symptoms such as pain, weight loss or dull aches in the lower abdomen.
  • Dermatologic. The groin (similar to the armpit, buttocks and under the breasts) is an area that naturally contains hair follicles surround by many oil and sweat glands. The chronic, long-term skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa can develop in such areas and result in multiple, painful and inflamed lumps under the skin. Moreover, the groin is an area often covered by clothing, which can further exacerbate this inflammatory dermatologic condition.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Groin Lump

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced groin lump. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Skin Cyst

    An epidermoid cyst is a closed sac under the skin filled with a cheese-like or oily material. It is caused by trauma or surgery.

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump
    Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst:
    skin-colored armpit bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  2. 2.Groin Abscess

    A groin abscess is caused by an infection of the skin or area right under the skin. The infection is typically caused by a bacteria, which your body reacts to by creating a ball of inflammation around the bacteria.

    Cured with drainage but can often come back later unless a surgeon fully removes the lining of the abscess

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    groin pain, constant groin lump, lump on one side of the groin, painful lump in one side of the groin, hard groin lump
    Symptoms that always occur with groin abscess:
    lump on one side of the groin, constant groin lump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Enlarged Lymph Nodes in the Groin

    Enlarged lymph nodes occur when the node becomes larger as it fills with inflammatory cells. This often is a result of an infection but can occur without a known cause.

    Enlarged lymph nodes should go away within a week or two.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    groin lump, movable groin lump
    Symptoms that always occur with enlarged lymph nodes in the groin:
    groin lump
    Symptoms that never occur with enlarged lymph nodes in the groin:
    fever, unintentional weight loss, hard groin lump
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  4. 4.Skin Abscess

    A skin abscess is an infection of the deeper skin that's typically due to bacteria seen on the skin. Recently, infections are more frequently caused by Staph. Aureus (puts the "staph" in "staph infections"), which is dangerous and requires treatment.

    Good prognosis with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess:
    rash with bumps or blisters
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Groin Lump Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having groin lump.

    Groin Lump Quiz
  5. 5.Lipoma

    A lipoma is a noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. A lipoma can develop in almost any organ of the body although they are most commonly found in the subcutaneous layer just below the skin.

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    skin-colored groin bump, marble sized groin lump, small groin lump
    Symptoms that always occur with lipoma:
    skin-colored groin bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  6. 6.Groin Hernia

    A hernia occurs when a loop of intestine bulges out through the abdominal wall. With age, the supportive tissues that keep organs within the abdomen become weaker, and the risk for a hernia increases. Groin hernias, called inguinal hernias, are the most common type. They often result due to muscle straining, such as during heavy lifting.

    Groin hernias are not a life-threatening condition. Approximately one third of patients report chronic groin pain 1 year or longer after a hernia repair, but it is likely to dissipate over time. A hernia may recur, although the causes of this are highly variable, and depend on the degree of abdominal wall weakness and the technique of repair.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in the lower right abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, groin pain, testicle pain, groin lump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Folliculitis

    Folliculitis is a common skin problem where hair follicles are infected by bacteria or fungi.

    Mild cases clear in a few days. More severe ones can cause hair loss and scarring.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    small facial lump, pink or red facial bump, face itch, facial bump leaking yellow/milky fluid, yellow or white facial bump
    Symptoms that always occur with folliculitis:
    small facial lump
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  8. 8.Boil (Furuncle)

    Boils are infections of a hair follicle that creates a small pocket of inflammation full of pus. It's typically caused by a common bacteria called S. Aureus.

    5-10 days

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump, constant skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with boil (furuncle):
    pink or red facial bump
    Symptoms that never occur with boil (furuncle):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Groin Hernia Requiring a Doctor's Examination

    A hernia occurs when a loop of intestine bulges out through the abdominal wall. With age, the supportive tissues that keep organs within the abdomen become weaker, and the risk for a hernia increases. Groin hernias, called inguinal hernias, are the most common type. They often result due to muscle straining, such as during heavy lifting.A complicated groin hernia, also called an incarcerated hernia, is a medical emergency. This type of hernia cannot be easily reduced, in other words pushed back without surgery. An incarcerated hernia is at high risk of becoming strangulated, meaning that pressure on the loop of bowel can cause the trapped segment to lose blood supply. Unless the blood supply is restored promptly, the tissue can rapidly die. This is a life-threatening condition.

    Complicated (incarcerated) groin hernias are a life-threatening condition. However, if treatment is performed early, the prognosis after surgery is excellent.Chronic pain 1 year out from the surgery is reported by some patients, but it is likely to dissipate over time.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, nausea or vomiting, fever, groin pain, groin lump
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

Groin Lump Treatments and Relief

Since the causes of groin lumps are varied, it is important to make an appointment with your physician in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the cause of your groin lump symptoms, your physician may suggest

  • Surgery. If an inguinal hernia is causing your groin lump symptoms, your physician may suggest open or non-invasive surgery to relieve discomfort and prevent complications. However, if your hernia is not causing you significant pain or discomfort, your physician may suggest watchful waiting.
  • Antibiotics. If you have swollen lymph nodes due to infection, your physician will provide appropriate antibiotic treatment.
  • Anti-inflammatory. Hidradenitis suppurativa can be treated with various types of medications that target and decrease inflammation, including immune system suppressing drugs.
  • Cancer Treatment. If your groin lump and associated symptoms are due to cancer, your physician will discuss treatment options including surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

See your doctor as soon as possible if your groin lump is associated with symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pain that is sudden and increases in intensity
  • Lump changes color
  • Inability to pass gas

These could be signs of an incarcerated hernia. A hernia is incarcerated when it becomes trapped in the abdominal wall. Incarcerated hernias are dangerous because they can wrap around themselves and cut off blood flow to the trapped tissue. When this occurs, a strangulated hernia results, which can have life threatening consequences if not treated promptly.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Groin Lump

  • Q.What color is the bump?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you touch the bump?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is the bump hard or soft?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our groin lump symptom checker to find out more.

Groin Lump Quiz

Groin Lump Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced groin lump have also experienced:

    • 6% Groin Pain
    • 5% Neck Bump
    • 4% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced groin lump had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 24% Over a Month
    • 16% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced groin lump were most often matched with:

    • 66% Groin Abscess
    • 33% Enlarged Lymph Nodes in the Groin
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having groin lump

Groin Lump Quiz