Groin is the region between your thigh and lower abdomen. At times, a lump may show up in this area – especially where your trunk gets connected with your legs. Shape and size of the lump may vary. Lump can show up due to multiple reasons. Such an outgrowth can signify a serious medical condition – especially if you sense pain in the lump or if the lump is erupting from the bottom of your skin. Knowledge of lump in groin can help decide when to seek medical help.
The types of pimples and lumps in your groin can vary from one person to another. For some, the lump can be tiny; sized as small as a peanut. For a few though, it may take a bigger size and shape. Apart from the size, lumps can also differ in many other aspects – such as, texture (soft or hardened), position (static or moving), painful or painless, etc. It is also possible for lumps to show up in different colors; some may assume the same tone as your flesh while others may turn purple or red. On the discomforts a lump may cause – some may remain dormant underneath your skin while a few may show up as sores or degenerate as ulcers.
The reason why a lump shows up decides the way it would eventually behave. There are many reasons why a lump may erupt. Common reasons for a lump in the groin include swelling of lymph gland, enlargement of vessels carrying blood, formation of cysts, hernia, sexually transmitted disorders or infections, etc. Some of these lumps are not malignant but you may need to be careful when they show up.
Inflammation of lymph glands
Lymph glands are found in your throat or armpits. When you suffer from common cold or flu-type of infections, your lymph glands tend to get flared up. Almost each time these glands flare-up, lymph nodes in the groin may experience an inflammation. A lump in the groin is a natural response from your body to ward-off likely threats. Once the threat ceases to exist, these lumps may also go away.
You need to know that lymph nodes are smaller glands that help clear microbes – such as bacteria, fungi, etc. – from your lymphatic fluids. These fluids serve as a medium to carry white cells (called as lymphocytes) which help to keep infections away.
Lymph nodes in your groin may turn inflamed when you experience one of the following conditions-
#(1) Bacterial imbalance in vagina (a condition called as bacterial vaginosis – which may occur among women aged between 16 to 45 years)
#(2) Fungal infections in the vagina (nearly 3/4th of adult females are likely to suffer a fungal infection in their vagina at least one time)
#(3) Infections in the urinary tract – As women have a shorter urethra, microbes may find it easy to go up the tract
#(4) Cancer – A swollen lymph node may be an outcome of a few types of cancer; especially, cancer in your blood circulation system. Typical types of such cancers are leukaemia or lymphoma.
These are likely to trigger a swelling of your lymph glands – especially in the groin area. In other instances, cancers developing in remote parts may touch the lymph nodes in the groin. Such progression of cancers may also make your lymph nodes to turn larger in size.
The first clear sign is – you may find the lump harder with a very solid composition. If you thought it has shown up to ward-off an infection (i.e., your body’s natural response), cancerous lumps do not go away after an infection ceases to exist. Another way to distinguish a cancerous or malignant lump is these outgrowths may show up very slowly; while those caused to ward-off infections may show up all of a sudden.
This is not a commonly occurring medical condition. However, an inflamed lymph node – especially in your groin area – is a distinct sign of this cancerous condition. This affects your lymph nodes which play a key role in boosting your immunity levels. Apart from the groin, lumps may be spotted in your armpits as well as by the sides of your neck. These lumps are generally painless and remain under your skin.
This condition is diagnosed through a few tests namely – biopsy of lymph nodes (tests done on a tissue taken from the lump – which marks the undue multiplication of cancerous cells), count of blood cells – often referred as complete blood count (CBC), biopsy of bone marrow, etc.
The earliest stage – called as stage # 1 – of Hodgkin’s syndrome means cancerous growth is found restricted to a single lymph node or found localized within an organ. The next stage – # 2 – is when cancerous growth is detected in more than one cluster of lymph nodes; often spotted in two adjacent regions.
Level #3 is an advanced stage wherein multiple organs near the diaphragm show growth of cancerous cells. Stage # 4 is the level wherein cancerous growth gets out of the lymph nodes and spreads to other vital organs such as liver, lung or bone marrow.
This type of cancer is treated with radiation treatment (using high-focus beams at sizeable energy levels to end cancerous growth) as well as with chemotherapy (usage of drugs to terminate cancer cells). For earliest stages of this cancer, oncologists may recommend several sittings of radiation therapy. However, for fairly advanced stages of cancer – i.e., levels # 3 and # 4 – chemotherapeutic drugs are administered to stop malignant, cancerous cells from spreading further.
Enlargement of vessels carrying blood
There are two distinctive possibilities namely varicose veins and femoral aneurysm. Varicose vein may show up as an inflammation underneath your skin. This is caused when the pressure inside your vein escalates. This condition is often observed in your thighs and legs. Femoral aneurysm is triggered when the walls of your femoral blood vessel (artery) are weakened. Its presence can be inferred by a lump in the groin area. This condition is observed mostly among elderly men.
Formation of cysts
These are outgrowths seen below your skin. They are mostly not malignant and non-cancerous. Cysts can be either sebaceous or epidermoid in nature. Sebaceous cysts are seen locked inside a sweat pore or in your hair follicle. Such cysts often engulf an oily, yellow-colored substance in them.
Epidermoid cysts are widely occurring eruptions from your skin. Medical research indicates that males are more likely (nearly 1.8x more) to have these outgrowth than females. It is not static and is known to move under the skin. These outgrowths are made of keratin – a rich protein commonly seen in abundance in your nails, hair as well as skin.
It is a condition wherein a tissue exits out or protrudes from its normal position. This out-coming tissue often makes its exit through a feeble area near it. There are various types of hernia namely – femoral (outside the groin), incisional (due to a surgery in the abdomen), inguinal (inner side of your groin), hiatal (top of your stomach) or umbilical (in the bellybutton).
Of all these types, inguinal hernia is the most common observed condition – i.e., as high as 94% of all hernias is of this kind. Men are found more vulnerable to hernias. Clinical sciences infer the natural weak zones inside men’s groin as the logical reason for its prevalence among men.
Femoral hernia and inguinal hernia are seen to develop closer to the groin area. Distinctive signs of these conditions are almost the same; salient ones being – a bump between the upper part of your thigh and bottom part of abdomen, nausea, pain or discomfort in groin – especially while walking or running, development of an outgrowth in scrotal bags, etc.
Hernia needs to be treated in a timely manner. If left untreated, the protruded tissue may stay pushed against the wall of the nearby tissues or muscles. Some sub-types of inguinal and femoral hernias may result in poor bowel movements and over a period of time may even start obstructing your bowel.
Sexually transmitted disorders or infections
A few types of sexually transmitted conditions may also lead to a lump in the groin area. Common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or conditions are syphilis (it is a form of bacterial infection which is transmitted from one person to another while in close physical contact), gonorrhea (bacterial infections that affects the rectum, throat or urethra and among females, it can impair their cervical region), etc. Lumps in groin caused by STIs are mainly due to problems associated with lymph nodes. In some instances, these lumps may develop into small colonies or clusters, which may eventually open-up and turn into sores or ulcers.
Apart from the above, other conditions such as saphena varix (wherein a lump shows up in the groin region, only to vanish when you are lying down; caused by malfunctioning valve of the saphenous vein), swelling of genital parts (the tract presents a fairly easy entry for microbes – especially, entry into women’s reproductive organs), allergies (caused by certain types of fabrics or a few rare foods), etc.
You are advised to see a doctor if you see a lump in the groin area. If the condition is due to the swelling of lymph nodes, it may have been triggered by infections or at times, by cancerous growth in your lymphatic system. Your doctor will assess your medical history and may administer a few tests to rule-out or confirm the causes for the lump in your groin.