A testicle (or testis) is the reproductive gland or gonad in males. They are small, egg-shaped reproductive organs which rest inside the scrotum (a thin pouch of skin behind your penis). Its function is to produce both androgens (primarily testosterone) and sperm.
Pain in the testicles can affect anyone at any age. You may feel it in one or both testicles, however, the pain might come from another part of your body, like your groin or stomach (referred pain). Testicular pain can be chronic or acute. Acute refers to fast onset, a sharp ascent, and brief duration. Chronic refers to a long-lasting, gradually worsening form of pain.
There are a lot of delicate nerves in your testicles, which can make testicular discomfort quite painful. Reach out to a healthcare provider if you have testicular pain that lasts for more than an hour. Go to an emergency room if you have intense testicular pain as it could be a sign of testicular torsion, which is a serious medical emergency.
What is Testicular Pain?
The reproductive organs known as testicles are situated in the scrotum. Minor injuries to the region may result in testicular pain. However, if you are experiencing pain in the testicle, you need to have your symptoms evaluated.
Pain in the scrotum can be the result of serious conditions like an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) or testicular torsion. Ignoring the discomfort might harm the testicles and scrotum permanently. Ignoring the pain might cause irreversible damage to the scrotum and testicles.
Often, problems with the testicles cause groin or abdominal pain before pain in the testicle develops. Unexplained groin or abdominal pain should also be evaluated by your doctor.
What Are the Causes of Testicular Pain?
There are various common causes of testicular pain. The cause might be obvious if you have had an accident or a recent injury while exercising or playing a sport. But in other cases, it might not be obvious why you have pain.
Some other common causes of testicular pain might include:
- Orchitis – Orchitis is when a viral or bacterial infection causes inflammation in one or both of your testicles. The mumps virus is a frequent cause of orchitis in kids. If the mumps causes orchitis, swelling typically starts 4 to 6 days after the start of your mumps symptoms.
- Inguinal (groin) hernia – When a section of your intestine pulls through a weak spot in your abdominal muscles close to your groin, it causes an inguinal hernia. Although it seldom poses a threat (mild pain), it can occasionally be unpleasant and necessitate immediate surgery.
- Epididymitis – Epididymitis is inflammation which affects your epididymis. When you orgasm, your epididymis, a bundle of tiny tubes that are tightly wound, transports sperm from your testicles to your sperm duct and then out of your body. If you have epididymitis, your scrotum might swell and feel hot to the touch. The infection can last for weeks.
- Spermatocele – A fluid-filled cyst called a spermatocele can develop in your epididymis, close to your testicles. Spermatoceles are not cancerous, and they typically are not painful, but they can grow large and become uncomfortable.
- Hydrocele -When stomach fluid accumulates in your scrotum around one or both testicles, you have a hydrocele. Hydroceles are common, especially in babies.
- Hematocele – Blood that gathers around one or both of your testicles is known as a hematocele. Hematoceles normally develop after an injury.
- Varicocele -A collection of unusually big veins in your scrotum is known as a varicocele. Varicoceles might ache or cause pain during daily activities. Discomfort or pain normally improves when you lie down.
- Testicular torsion – The spermatic cord twisting and cutting off blood flow to one testicle, typically your left testicle, is known as testicular torsion. It causes a sudden sharp pain. It can occur at any time. Surgery is necessary for testicular torsion, which is a medical emergency.
- Kidney stones – A hematocele is a crystal or solid mass that develops in your urinary system. The stones can block your ureters (the tubes that drain urine from your kidney into your bladder) and cause pain in your back, groin, scrotum or testicles. You might be able to pass small stones when you pee, but larger stones might need surgery.
- Post-vasectomy pain – The vas deferens, or sperm-carrying tubes, are surgically sealed during a vasectomy. It is a type of birth control. Some people who get a vasectomy have testicular pain afterwards due to higher pressure in the epididymis or vas deferens.
- Testicular cancer – In those who are born male and are between the ages of 15 and 35, testicular cancer is the most prevalent malignancy. It might be present as a pain or dull ache in your groin or testicles.
What Other Symptoms Might Occur Alongside Testicular Pain?
Other symptoms that might occur alongside testicular pain include:
- Bruising – Bruising might occur on your scrotum after an injury to your testicles.
- Vomiting and nausea – Feeling sick to your stomach and/or vomiting can be a symptom of several conditions that cause testicular pain, including kidney stones, orchitis or an injury.
- Swelling – A lump or swelling might appear in your scrotum. Your scrotum might appear discoloured (red, purple, brown or black) or shiny. Swelling can be a symptom of an infection or an injury.
- Fever – Testicular discomfort and fever are frequent indicators of an infection.
- Problems urinating – Kidney stones can cause you to pee a lot (frequent urination). They can also cause a burning sensation when you urinate or blood in your pee (hematuria).
What Are the Treatments for Testicular Pain?
The following techniques can be used to alleviate pain at home that does not require medical attention:
- Use over-the-counter pain medications to reduce pain.
- Roll a towel beneath your scrotum to provide support for your testicles when you are resting down.
- Take warm baths.
- Reduce scrotum swelling by using ice.
- Wear a cup or an athletic supporter to support the scrotum.
You must consult your doctor for treatment if the pain is more severe. Your doctor will complete a physical exam of your scrotum, groin and abdomen to determine what is causing your pain and will also ask you about your current health conditions and any other symptoms.
To accurately diagnose your condition, your doctor might need to order additional tests, including:
- A rectal examination is necessary for the evaluation of prostatic secretions.
- Urine cultures
- A urinalysis
- An ultrasound, which is a type of imaging test, of the testicles and scrotal sac
Your doctor will be able to treat you once they have determined the source of your discomfort. The treatment might include:
- Having your testicles operated on can help with fluid buildup
- Pain medications
- A surgical assessment for the prospective treatment of an undescended testicle
- If you have testicular torsion, surgery to unwind the testicle is required
- Antibiotics to treat an infection
Pain in the testicles can affect anyone and can be acute or chronic. If the pain is
severe and persists for a longer duration, then it is always advisable to seek medical help from an experienced urologist. Timely care and help can ensure an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of your condition.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a urologist, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Dr. Kumar Saurav at the CK Birla Hospital.
How Do You Stop Testicular Pain?
It is advisable to rest and protect your testicles and groin. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that might be causing your soreness or pain. Put a cold pack or ice on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin piece of fabric between your skin and the ice.
Does Testicle Pain Heal Itself?
Sometimes there is no need for treatment since testicular discomfort will go away on its own. Depending on the cause of your testicle pain, your condition might take up to four weeks to heal. Limit your activity until your pain decreases. Get more rest while you heal.
Can Sperm Buildup Cause Testicle Pain?
Yes. Blue balls can develop after a protracted time of arousal without ejaculation; this condition is referred to medically as epididymal hypertension. Sperm accumulation might give your testicles a faint blue tint.
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