Read below about pain in one testicle, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in one testicle from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Pain in One Testicle Symptoms

Experiencing an injury to or inflammation in just one testicle is not necessarily unusual, but is something that should be treated by a medical provider as soon as possible. Most of the possible related conditions heal readily, although some can cause permanent damage and loss of fertility if treatment does not begin right away.

Inflammation of one testicle is also called unilateral (one-sided) testicular pain or unilateral orchitis.

Characteristics:

Who is most often affected by pain in one testicle?

  • Male infants less than one year of age.
  • Teenage boys/young men.
  • Sexually active men.
  • It's possible for any male to be affected, especially those having unprotected anal or vaginal sex.

When is pain in one testicle most likely to occur?

  • Just before and during sexual activity.

  • After ejaculation.

  • During and/or after exercise.

  • You may experience pain when awake, asleep, standing, sitting, or moving.

Is pain in one testicle serious?

  • Mild pain and swelling that may occur after something like a long horseback or bicycle ride, and presents no other symptoms, is probably not serious.
  • Testicular pain along with burning on urination is most likely due to a urinary tract infection or a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Sudden, severe pain in one testicle is very serious and must be treated immediately.

Pain in One Testicle Causes Overview

Many conditions can have pain in one testicle as a symptom. The most common are those involving twisting of the testicle within the scrotum; injuries from accidents or sports; and sexually transmitted diseases.

The most common cause types:

  • Torsion: This is a twisting of your spermatic cord (the testicular blood supply). Testicular torsion occurs most often on the left side and rarely affects both sides at once.
  • Testicular appendage torsion: This is the twisting of a small piece of vestigial tissue that lies across the top of your testicle, inside your scrotum. The symptoms are similar to actual torsion but not as severe. One side of your testicle will be sore to the touch with a small, hard lump at the top. This rarely happens after age 18, and usually resolves on its own.
  • Trauma/injury due to accident, sports injury, riding a horse or bicycle, hematoma, contusion, or rupture of testicle: an injury can lead to torsion.

The less common cause types:

  • Bacterial infections: These are usually from sexually transmitted diseases, or from infection with E. coli bacteria. E. coli is a normal inhabitant of your colon and is found in feces.

  • Prostatitis: This is inflammation of your prostate and usually spreads to other parts of the urinary and reproductive system, causing pain and discomfort throughout.

  • Scarring of the epididymis, the long-coiled tube which carries semen: The epididymis can be damaged after chronic inflammation, especially from prostatitis or sexually transmitted disease.

  • Viral infections: Mumps, chickenpox, and other viral infections can affect the testicles.

  • Kidney stones: If a stone travels down the ureter, it can cause severe pain in the testicle.

  • Testicular abscess: A pocket of infection, usually from an injury with a break in the skin.

Rare and unusual pain in one testicle cause types:

  • Torsion that has no apparent cause, though it may follow an injury to the testicle.
  • Being born with a congenital condition that causes the testicles to move freely within the scrotum, instead of being anchored down. This can lead to torsion.
  • An inguinal hernia, where a loop of small intestine protrudes into the scrotum.
  • Post-vasectomy pain from granulated or coarsely healing tissue that may form at the site of the surgery and cause pain months or years later.
  • Sexual arousal without release. This can cause pain in one or both testicles, particularly in young men.
  • Tumor within the scrotum. Pain and swelling will be gradual in onset.

3 Potential Pain in One Testicle Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Epididymitis

    Epididymitis is swelling (inflammation) of the epididymis, a tube that sits on top of the testicle and is involved in making sperm. Most cases of inflammation are due to an infection.

    Pain eases in a few days, swelling may take up to a week to go down.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, fever, chills, pain in one testicle, vomiting
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

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  2. 2.Intermittent Testicular Torsion

    Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates which cuts off the testicle's blood supply. This causes severe pain and swelling. In the case of intermittent testicular torsion, the testicle de-rotates itself and symptoms resolve.

    Symptoms resolve within a few days

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, testicle pain that comes and goes, vomiting, pain in one testicle, testicular swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with intermittent testicular torsion:
    testicle pain that comes and goes
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Testicular Torsion

    Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates which cuts off the testicle's blood supply. This causes severe pain and swelling.

    With prompt treatment, it is unlikely there will be any permanent damage. It is important to get to the hospital within 6 hours of the start of pain to make sure the testicle can be saved.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    testicle pain, nausea, pain in one testicle, vomiting, testicular swelling
    Symptoms that always occur with testicular torsion:
    testicle pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Pain in One Testicle Treatments and Relief

Seek immediate treatment in the emergency room or call 911 if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain and obvious swelling in one testicle, especially with no apparent cause. This is usually due to torsion and treatment must begin within two to four hours at most, or there can be loss of blood supply. Surgery is usually necessary, either to save the testicle or to remove it in order to prevent gangrene.

Schedule an appointment for:

  • Dull pain in the testicle that comes on gradually and may radiate down from, or up into, the lower abdomen.
  • Pain in the testicle along with fever, chills, and burning with urination.

Remedies that you can try at home:

  • Rest.
  • Ice packs, for short periods of time.
  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease pain.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in One Testicle

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Are you sexually active?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain in one testicle symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain in One Testicle Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in one testicle have also experienced:

    • 8% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 7% Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen
    • 7% Lower Back Pain
  • People who have experienced pain in one testicle had symptoms persist for:

    • 33% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Less Than a Day
    • 20% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pain in one testicle were most often matched with:

    • 47% Epididymitis
    • 31% Intermittent Testicular Torsion
    • 21% Testicular Torsion
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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