Scrotal ultrasound

Scrotal Ultrasound

A scrotal ultrasound is a test done to look for abnormalities inside the scrotum and surrounding structures. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the area and can provide information about the size, shape, and position of organs and other structures in the area. It can also be used to check the testicles and epididymis for any lumps or other issues.


No special preparation is needed for a scrotal ultrasound. You may be asked to take off your clothes and put on a hospital gown, or just loosen your pants and tuck your shirt up. You may get instructions to empty your bladder and bowels before the test, and you may be asked to drink up to 1/2 litre of water an hour before the procedure. This is to ensure the bladder is full and provides the best image.


The sonographer will ask you to lay on your back on an exam table. You'll then be asked to hold your penis up and move it out of the way. The sonographer will apply a layer of water-based gel on the scrotum and will guide the transducer, a hand-held wand device, over the area to gather images. The exam is typically done in under an hour and the entire process should not cause any discomfort.


The two main types of scrotal ultrasounds are:

  • Doppler ultrasound – evaluates blood flow in the scrotum
  • Transcutaneous ultrasound – uses a probe to transmit sound waves through the skin to view the scrotal organs.


Scrotal ultrasounds are considered to be a safe procedure with minimal to no risks associated with it.


Scrotal ultrasounds can be used to look for cysts, lumps, inflammation, or any other abnormalities in the scrotum or testicles. The procedure can also be used to evaluate whether a patient has an undescended testicle. Additionally, it can help diagnose varicoceles, which are abnormally enlarged veins in the scrotum, and it can also check blood flow in the scrotum.


A doctor may order a scrotal ultrasound if a patient has symptoms of a problem in the scrotum such as pain, swelling, or a lump. It can also be performed if they are having fertility issues, to help diagnose the cause. Additionally, it may be ordered to check the size or shape of the testicles, prior to a vasectomy, or to evaluate an undescended testicle.