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.

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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.

10 Potential Groin Lump Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.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
  2. 2.Genital Herpes

    Genital herpes is caused by a common viral infection that is sexually transmitted. The virus can lay dormant for months after exposure, causing itching and rash on the inner thighs or genitals. Some people carry the virus, but have no symptoms for their entire lives.

    Infection with herpes simplex virus cannot be cured, but there are many effective treatments to manage symptoms

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    symptoms of infection, fatigue, muscle aches, fever, penis pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Indirect Hernia

    A hernia occurs when an organ or internal body part bulges through the abdominal wall. In the case of indirect hernia, the hernia is a result an improperly failed deep inguinal ring after the testicle has passed through it.

    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:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    groin pain, groin lump, mild groin pain, moderate groin pain, painful lump in one side of the groin
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Mononucleosis Infection

    EBV Mononucleosis is a clinical syndrome characterized by fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

    2-3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, abdominal pain (stomach ache), cough
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.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

    Groin Lump Checker

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  6. 6.Strangulated Groin Hernia

    A hernia occurs when a loop of intestine bulges out through the abdominal wall. A strangulated hernia is very serious as the trapped intestine has its blood supply cut off which can cause tissue death and permanent damage.

    Outcome depends on type of surgery and duration of symptoms before surgery. Chronic pain my occur in some cases.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, nausea or vomiting, vomiting, being severely ill, groin lump
    Symptoms that always occur with strangulated groin hernia:
    severe groin pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.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
  8. 8.Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that most often affects the lungs and skin, but can als affect the joints.

    This condition has a broad range of severity. It often goes away on its own over time but some cases can cause permanent damage.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Syphilis

    Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It infects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women.

    10-14 days with treatment. Worsens without treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    groin lump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Syphilis

    Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It infects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women.

    10-14 days with treatment. Worsens without treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    groin lump, painless vaginal ulcer
    Symptoms that always occur with syphilis:
    painless vaginal ulcer
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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

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Groin Lump Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced groin lump have also experienced:

    • 5% Neck Bump
    • 5% Groin Pain
    • 3% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced groin lump had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 25% Over a Month
    • 16% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced groin lump were most often matched with:

    • 18% Indirect Hernia
    • 9% 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”).

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