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Groin lump

  • Definition
    • A groin lump is swelling in the groin area (where the upper leg meets the lower abdomen). It may be firm or soft, tender, or not painful at all.

  • Alternative Names
    • Lump in the groin; Inguinal lymphadenopathy; Localized lymphadenopathy - groin; Bubo; Lymphadenopathy - groin

  • Considerations
    • Your health care provider should examine any groin lumps.

  • Causes

      • Allergic reaction
      • Cancer
      • Drug reaction
      • Harmless (benign) cyst
      • Hernia (a soft, large bulge in the groin on one or both sides)
      • Infections in the legs
      • Injury to the groin area
      • Lipomas (harmless fatty growths)
      • Sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea
      • Swollen lymph glands in the groin area
  • Home Care
    • Follow the treatment your health care provider prescribed.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Make an appointment to see your health care provider if you have an unexplained groin lump, especially if it lasts for more than 3 weeks.

  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • The health care provider will examine you and may feel the lymph nodes in your groin area. A genital or pelvic exam may be done.

      You will be asked about your medical history and symptoms, such as when you first noticed the lump, whether it came on suddenly or slowly, or whether it gets larger when you cough or strain. You may also be asked about your sexual activities.

      Tests that may be done include:

  • References
    • Armitage JO. Approach to the patient with lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 171.

      Augenbraun MH. Genital skin and mucous membrane lesions. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 105.

      Malangoni MA, Rosen MJ. Hernias. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 46.