Spread all through the body, the lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands. The enlarged lymph glands or its swelling indicates an underlying problem. Lymph nodes can be felt with your fingers and can be found commonly in areas like the neck, armpit, groin, back of the head, behind the ears, and under the jaw and chin. The most common cause for enlarged or swollen lymph nodes in the groin and other parts of the body is an infection.
The groin area is mainly where the abdomen ends and the legs begin. Also called the inguinal area, the groin area includes the upper inner thigh and the front area where the legs are attached to the torso. The swollen lymph node in the groin area is also known as the groin lump and is also called localized lymphadenopath, bubo lymphadenopathy, and inguinal lymphadenopathy. Medically termed as inguinal lymphadenitis, swollen groin lymph nodes are a result of some injury or infection to the main areas like the legs, lower torso, etc. In severe cases, swollen lymph nodes can also be an indication of malignancy.
The swelling in the groin is a sign of fluid buildup or inflammation in the groin area. The swelling appears as a lump that is solid, firm, or soft to touch, and may be tender and painful. The inguinal (groin) lymph nodes filter lymphatic fluid that drains the feet, legs, groin, and genitals. The lymph node system removes the filter debris from the body. The lymph nodes can become overloaded and might cause the lymph gland groups to become enlarged in the groin area.
The main problem with enlarged lymph glands in the groin is that due to the location, both men and women avoid having the lymph nodes checked. The groin swelling in men may also refer to the swelling of the scrotum or the testicles within the scrotum.
Inguinal or femoral lymph nodes, or the lymph nodes in the groin, may swell from injury or infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals. The swelling in case of inguinal lymph node could be from an injury in the area, and it would reduce once the injury heals. In some rare cases, lymphoma, melanoma, or testicular cancer may cause a lump in this area.
Men who have enlarged groin lymph nodes could have testicular cancer, while women who notice a swelling in the area might have some kind of cancer inside any part of their reproductive system. Such people should not panic and assume that cancer is the cause for their enlarged lymph. Instead, they should get a proper check up done. The nodes may be swollen for some minor reason.
The cause for swelling of the enlarged lymph nodes in the groin may be due to a drug reaction, allergic reaction, benign cyst, cancer (lymphoma, testicular), hernia, fatty growths (Lipomas), infections in the legs, feet, or pelvic area, and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
The swelling in most cases goes away without any treatment, though if the conditions turn serious, it is important to seek medical aid. You would need to see a doctor if the lymph nodes in the groin region enlarge for no apparent reason and don’t return to normal size within two weeks. Or if symptoms like night sweats, fever, weight loss, difficulty in swallowing persist, and if the lymph node is hard, rubbery, and stationary, then, too, you need the advice from your doctor.
It may take some time before the lymph nodes are treated and return to normal size and before the pain is gone. To relieve the pain you can try warm compresses, draining, surgery, or take over the counter pain relievers, prescription anti-inflammatory medicines and massage therapy.