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.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pain in One Testicle

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pain in one testicle. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  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
  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
  4. 4.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.

    Resolution of symptoms depends on cause and extent of the neuralgia.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    thigh numbness, groin numbness, testicle numbness, sharp testicle or scrotum pain, sharp groin pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Chronic Prostatitis

    Prostatitis is swelling and irritation of the prostate gland. The prostate gland sits under the bladder, near the rectum, and produces the fluid that carries sperm.

    1/3 of men say symptoms go away by themselves after 1 year. With treatment, course is dependent on underlying cause.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    urinary changes, painful urination, testicle pain, frequent urination, penis pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Non - Serious Testicle Injury

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

    Your testicle pain should resolve in 5-15 minutes. If it lasts for an hour or more, consider a visit to an urgent care center.

    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
  7. 7.Groin Hernia

    A hernia occurs when a loop of intestine bulges out through the abdominal wall. With age, the supportive tissues that keep organs within the abdomen become weaker, and the risk for a hernia increases. Groin hernias, called inguinal hernias, are the most common type. They often result due to muscle straining, such as during heavy lifting.

    Groin hernias are not a life-threatening condition. Approximately one third of patients report chronic groin pain 1 year or longer after a hernia repair, but it is likely to dissipate over time. A hernia may recur, although the causes of this are highly variable, and depend on the degree of abdominal wall weakness and the technique of repair.

    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
  8. 8.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    Symptoms most often go away within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins.

    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
  9. 9.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.

    Most people begin to feel better in a few days although it may take up to a month for the tenderness to fully disappear.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous testicle pain, fever, tender testicular swelling, muscle aches, new headache
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

    Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis (IC), is a chronic condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. The cause of this condition is not very clear and it is usually diagnosed when other causes like urinary tract infections are excluded.

    Chronic disease whose progression varies highly from person to person. Symptoms may persist for years.

    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

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

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)
    • 8% Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen
    • 7% Pain in the Lower Left Abdomen
  • 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:

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