Symptoms A-Z

Pain in One Testicle Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand pain in one testicle symptoms, including 10 causes & common questions.

An image depicting a person suffering from pain in one testicle symptoms

Pain In One Testicle Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having pain in one testicle

Contents

  1. Symptoms
  2. Causes
  3. 10 Possible Pain In One Testicle Conditions
  4. Treatments and Relief
  5. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  6. Statistics

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

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.

10 Possible Pain In One Testicle Conditions

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced pain in one testicle. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Epididymitis

Epididymitis is an inflammation of one or both of the tubes of the epididymis, a coiled tube which stores sperm inside each testicle. It is caused by a bacterial infection, most often from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Epididymitis can also be caused by a urinary tract or prostate infection, or by trauma due to injury or heavy lifting.

Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain in the testicle; pain on urination or ejaculation; discharge from the penis; and blood in the semen.

Men having unprotected sex are at the highest risk for developing this condition. Treatment involves antibiotics as well as rest, cold packs to the testicles, wearing an athletic supporter, and refraining from lifting and sexual intercourse until the infection is gone.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: nausea, fever, chills, pain in one testicle, vomiting

Urgency: In-person visit

Intermittent testicular torsion

Intermittent testicular torsion is also called ITT or chronic testicular torsion. Torsion refers to an abnormal twisting of the spermatic cord, which runs from each testicle up into the abdomen and carries blood vessels, nerves, and sperm-transporting ducts.

In intermittent cases, the testicle becomes untwisted on its own and the symptoms spontaneously resolve. The condition nearly always returns, however, and may continue to come and go.

The cause is believed to be a congenital abnormality that leaves the testicle insufficiently anchored within the scrotum.

Symptoms include sudden, severe groin and testicular pain with nausea and vomiting, followed by spontaneous relief of symptoms even without treatment.

Eventually, testicular torsion can result in loss of circulation followed by tissue death and loss of the testicle. Any type of testicular torsion is a medical emergency. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes ultrasound.

Treatment involves emergency surgery to untwist the spermatic cord and anchor the testicle in its proper place within the scrotum.

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

Testicular torsion

In torsion, the testicle is inadequately attached to the scrotum, allowing it to rotate freely within. This can lead to twisting of the testicle about the blood vessels to which it is connected, cutting off blood flow and leading to severe pain and the eventual death of the testicle. Testicular torsion can occur spontaneously, after several hours of exercise, or after an event such as trauma to the scrotum.

Symptoms include.

Treatments include manual de-torsion, which is a temporary fix, and necessary emergency surgery in order to salvage the affected testicle.

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

Groin nerve irritation

There are several nerves supplying the groin, inner thigh and genital region. Entrapment or irritation of one of these nerves can result in pain or numbness in this area. This is often caused by surgery in this area but can happen without a specific cause as well.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: thigh numbness, groin numbness, testicle numbness, sharp testicle or scrotum pain, sharp groin pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Chronic prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, located between the bladder and penis, which produces fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. Chronic prostatitis is distinguished from acute prostatitis in that chronic prostatitis has caused symptoms for at least three of the last six months.

Chronic prostatitis can be caused by bacteria (chronic bacterial prostatitis) or inflammation without evidence of a bacterial infection (chronic nonbacterial prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome).

Symptoms include pain on urination, more frequent urination or urgency, difficulty urinating, pain in the pelvis or with sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, as well as low-grade fever and depression.

Treatment options include antibiotics and other medication, physical activity and physical therapy, psychological support, and surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: urinary changes, painful urination, testicle pain, frequent urination, penis pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Pain In One Testicle Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having pain in one testicle

Non-serious testicle injury

Being struck in the testicles is very common, and despite the intense pain that follows, rarely requires professional medical care.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: testicle pain from an injury, testicle injury

Symptoms that always occur with non-serious testicle injury: testicle injury

Urgency: Self-treatment

Groin hernia

A groin hernia, also called an inguinal hernia, means that a structure in the lower abdomen – a loop of intestine or a section of fat – has pushed through the muscles of the abdominal wall. This creates a bulge, or hernia, that can be seen and felt in the groin.

A hernia is caused by a weak spot in the abdominal wall muscles, which can separate under heavy lifting or repeated straining. The weakness may be inherited or may be from previous surgery, injury, or pregnancy.

Symptoms include a bulge low down in the abdomen, most visible when the person stands; and pain in the bulge with any strain on the abdominal muscles, such as lifting a heavy object or bending over.

A hernia will not heal on its own. There is the risk of serious complications if the blood supply to the herniated organ becomes reduced or cut off.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and x-ray or CT scan.

A small hernia may need no treatment. A larger one can be repaired with surgery.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: pain in the lower right abdomen, pain in the lower left abdomen, groin pain, testicle pain, groin lump

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by infections by fecal bacteria.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain with urination (dysuria), cloudy urine (pyuria), feeling the urge to urinate, needing to urinate more frequently, blood in the urine (hematuria), inability to control the bladder or pain in the lower abdomen. Infections of the upper urinary tract may cause fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, and flank pain.

Treatment includes antibiotic medications, pain medications, and intravenous fluids.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes

Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection: signs of urinary tract inflammation

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Orchitis

Orchitis occurs when one or both testicles are inflamed. This is often caused by sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea or chlamydia. More rarely, orchitis is caused by a virus.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: spontaneous testicle pain, fever, tender testicular swelling, muscle aches, new headache

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)

Painful bladder syndrome, also called interstitial cystitis or IC, is a chronic condition of pain and discomfort in the urinary system.

The cause is unknown. It may be an autoimmune disorder and is often found with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, or vulvodynia (pain in the outer female organs.) Some researchers feel the condition may be linked to a history of abuse.

Painful bladder syndrome is more common in women than in men, but can happen to anyone.

Symptoms vary and may include pressure and discomfort in the lower abdomen; pain during sexual intercourse; bladder pain; and a frequent urge to urinate.

A medical provider should be seen for these symptoms, because painful bladder syndrome can interfere with quality of life and lead to depression.

Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; blood and urine tests; and sometimes cystoscopy. Women may have a pelvic examination and men may have a digital rectal examination.

There is no cure specifically for painful bladder syndrome, so treatment involves addressing the symptoms and making lifestyle changes.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood, pelvis pain, arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • Do you notice anything going on with your testicles or scrotum?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having pain in one testicle

Pain In One Testicle Symptom Checker Statistics

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

  • 8% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 8% Pain In The Lower Right Abdomen
  • 7% Pain In The Lower Left Abdomen

People who have experienced pain in one testicle were most often matched with:

  • 40% Testicular Torsion
  • 33% Epididymitis
  • 26% Intermittent Testicular Torsion

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

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Pain In One Testicle Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having pain in one testicle