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Testicle Pain Symptoms

It's enough to send even the most stoic men running to the doctor's office worried about precious cargo – and rightfully so. Testicular pain symptoms often indicate a problem down under. The testicles serve two important functions: production of sperm and testosterone, the male sex hormone. They're very sensitive and there are many different causes of testicular pain. [2,3]

Think of the testicles as two balls hanging by ropes with very little natural padding. The slightest disturbance may lead to discomfort even when the problem isn't confined to the testicles themselves. Pain may also come from the epididymitis, which is a curved tube that sits on each testicle to store sperm, or from the scrotum, which is the sack that holds the testicles. In some cases, the pain may originate in other parts of the body like the kidney or bowel. [1,2]

Testicular pain symptoms include:

Testicle Pain Causes Overview

Testicular pain may indicate a problem with the testicle itself or with surrounding structures like the epididymis or scrotum. Discomfort may range in severity and can be due to issues like inflammation, fluid buildup or infection. [1]

Infection testicular pain causes:

  • Sexually transmitted infections: Bacteria like gonorrhea or chlamydia can enter through the penis and cause pain and inflammation in the testicles or surrounding structures like the epididymis or prostate. [1]
  • Urinary tract infection: Though less common in men, those who are older or frail can be vulnerable to UTIs that may also lead to testicular discomfort. [2]
  • Viruses: In those who are not vaccinated, the mumps can cause pain and swelling of the testicles, especially in adolescents and young adults. [1]

Physical testicular pain causes:

  • Torsion: A testicle can twist around and lead to a kink in the nerves and blood vessels that supply it, causing severe and sudden pain that is a medical emergency. [1]
  • Fluid buildup: Fluid can accumulate around the testicle or epididymis or in the scrotum, leading to increase in size and an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness. [1]

Other testicular pain causes:

  • Referred pain: Discomfort that comes from other parts of the body, like the kidneys, may feel like it is coming from the testicles. [1]
  • Diabetic neuropathy: Damage to nerves in people with high blood sugar can cause testicular pain. [1]
  • Cancer: While this is a common concern of men with testicular pain, it is almost always diagnosed as a painless lump on the testicle. [1]

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Testicle Pain

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced testicle pain. 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.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

    Testicle Pain Checker

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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.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
  8. 8.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
  9. 9.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
  10. 10.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

Testicle Pain Treatments and Relief

Since the testicles are very sensitive and vulnerable to damage, it's best to see your doctor when testicular pain develops. A healthcare professional can best determine if the pain must be treated immediately or if you can deal with the problem at home with rest and medication. [2]

Get in the habit of performing monthly self-examinations, so you know exactly what's changed when you have a concern.

  • Start after a warm shower or bath when your testicles are relaxed and easy to feel and hold each testicle between your thumb and forefinger. [7]
  • Get to know the various structures, including the epididymis, which feels like a soft rope on the back of the testicle. [7]
  • Pay particular attention to any new lumps or bumps. While testicular cancer is usually painless, discomfort may indicate an infection or buildup of fluid that should be evaluated by your doctor. [7]

At-home testicular pain treatments:

  • Avoid strenuous activity: Heavy lifting or exercise can increase the pain and worsen underlying symptoms like swelling. [8]
  • Wear supportive underwear: Briefs are better than boxers and can help alleviate pain and swelling associated with common testicular problems. [5,9]
  • Over-the-counter medication: Painkillers like Tylenol or Advil can be effective in treating minor testicular pain symptoms. [8]
  • Icepacks: "Gentle" application of icepacks for a few minutes at a time can be particularly helpful in reducing swelling. [8]

Professional testicular pain treatments:

  • Antibiotics: These treat testicular pain caused by bacteria, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, or a urinary tract infection. [8]
  • Ultrasound: A doctor may perform this test to make sure that the blood flow to your testicles is not blocked and to see if there is any fluid buildup in the area. [8]
  • Surgery: If the blood flow to your testicle is blocked, you will need surgery right away. Otherwise, routine surgery can help treat causes of testicular pain like fluid buildup. [8]

You should visit a doctor right away if you have:

  • Testicular pain that comes on suddenly or is very severe. [8]
  • Nausea, vomiting, fever or chills with the pain. [5,8]
  • Trauma to the penis or testicles, such as during sex. [10]
  • Blood in your urine. [5]

FAQs About Testicle Pain

Here are some frequently asked questions about testicle pain.

Can a UTI cause testicle pain?

Yes, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause testicle pain. A urinary tract infection is an infection which encompasses the urethra (the conduit for urine and semen in the penis), as well as the urinary sphincter, bladder, ureters (tubes connecting the bladder to the kidneys), and kidneys. Infection along the urethra can sometimes track backwards into the branch of the urethra that leads to the testicles. [8]

Which STDs lead to testicle pain?

A common cause of testicular pain in the setting of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is epididymitis or a swelling of the epididymis. The epididymis is a structure that assists sperm as it develops. It can be found just off the urethra and can develop inflammation following infection with chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is more frequent in older men with enlarged prostates. [8]

Does a hernia cause testicle pain?

Yes, a hernia can cause testicular pain. There are many types of hernias. An inguinal hernia or a hernia of the groin through a small opening at the base of the abdomen can pinch one of the nerves that innervates the testicles causing pain. [4,11]

Why do my testicles hurt after I ejaculate?

There are many reasons why your testicles may hurt after ejaculating. Following ejaculation, you may suffer from a muscle spasm of the muscles of your perineal region. This can lead to a cramp-like pain of the testicles. You may also be suffering from congestion of the vasculature of the pelvic region, which can lead to a dull, achy sensation. [12]

Why does my testicle pain switch sides?

Testicular pain may be due to posture or physical activities. Biking, for example, can lead to testicular pain from friction between a poorly placed bike seat and the testicles. This can switch sides with different postures. Generally speaking, more dangerous forms of testicular damage are one-sided and stay on a single side. [7,13]

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Testicle Pain

  • 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 testicle pain symptom checker to find out more.

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Testicle Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced testicle pain have also experienced:

    • 9% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 5% Lower Back Pain
    • 4% Penis Pain
  • People who have experienced testicle pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 33% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Less Than a Day
    • 20% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced testicle pain 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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References

  1. Testicular Pain: Possible Causes. Cleveland Clinic. Updated July 28, 2016. Cleveland Clinic Link.
  2. Wald M. Testicular Pain. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Updated February 2016. UIHC Link.
  3. Amory JK, Bremner WJ. Regulation of Testicular Function in Men: Implications for Male Hormonal Contraceptive Development. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2003;85(2-5):357-361. NCBI Link.
  4. Signs and Symptoms of Scrotal and Testicular Conditions. Beaumont Health. Beaumont Health Link.
  5. Testicle Pain. Mayo Clinic. Published March 30, 2018. Mayo Clinic Link.
  6. Blood in Semen (Haematospermia). NHS. Updated July 19, 2016. NHS Link.
  7. Testicular Cancer - What to Look For. American Family Physician. 1999;59(9):2549-2550. AAFP Link.
  8. What are Epididymitis and Orchitis? Urology Care Foundation. Urology Care Foundation Link.
  9. Buchinsky R. Got Testicle Pain? It May Be Epididymitis. University Hospitals. Published May 15, 2014. UH Link.
  10. Causes of Scrotal and Testicular Conditions. Beaumont Health. Beaumont Health Link.
  11. LeBlanc KE, LeBlanc LL, LeBlanc KA. Inguinal Hernias: Diagnosis and Management. American Family Physician. 2013;87(12):844-848. AAFP Link.
  12. Parnham A, Serefoglu EC. Retrograde Ejaculation, Painful Ejaculation and Hematospermia. Translational Andrology and Urology. 2016;5(4):592-601. NCBI Link.
  13. Kelly K. Testicular Pain: When the Boys Hurt. Katie Kelly PT. Published June 14, 2017. Katie Kelly PT Link.