Testicle pain is discomfort in one or both testicles . The pain can spread into the lower abdomen.
Pain - testicle
The testicles are very sensitive. Even a minor injury can cause pain. Abdominal pain may occur before testicle pain in some conditions.
Common causes of testicle pain include:
- Infection or swelling of the sperm ducts (epididymitis ) or testicles (orchitis ).
- Twisting of the testicles that can cut off the blood supply (testicular torsion ). It is most common in young men between 10 and 20 years old. It is a medical emergency that needs to be treated as soon as possible. If surgery is performed within 6 hours, most testicles can be saved.
Mild pain may be caused by fluid collection in the scrotum, such as:
- Enlarged veins in the scrotum (varicocele )
- Cyst in the epididymis that often contains dead sperm cells (spermatocele )
- Fluid surrounding the testicle (hydrocele )
- Pain in the testicles may also be caused by a hernia or kidney stone.
Testicular cancer is almost always painless. But any testicle lump should be checked out by your health care provider, whether or not there is pain.
Non-urgent causes of testicle pain, such as minor injuries and fluid collection, can often be treated with home care. The following steps may reduce discomfort and swelling:
- Provide support to the scrotum by wearing an athletic supporter.
- Apply ice to the scrotum.
- Take warm baths if there are signs of swelling.
- While lying down, place a rolled towel under your scrotum.
- Try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do NOT give aspirin to children.
Call your health care provider if:
Sudden, severe testicle pain, however, needs immediate medical care.
Call your health care provider immediately or go to an emergency room if:
- Your pain is severe or sudden
- You have had an injury or trauma to the scrotum, and you still have pain or swelling after one hour
- Your pain is accompanied by nausea or vomiting
Also call your health care provider right away if:
- You feel a lump in the scrotum
- You have a fever
- Your scrotum is warm, tender to the touch, or red
- You have been in contact with someone who has the mumps
What to expect at your health care provider's office:
Your health care provider will do an exam of your groin, testicles, and abdomen. Your health care provider will ask you questions about the pain such as:
- How long have you had testicular pain? Did is start suddenly or slowly?
- Where do you feel the pain? Is it on one or both sides?
- How bad is the pain? Is it constant or does it come and go?
- Does the pain reach into your abdomen or back?
- Have you had any injuries
- Have you ever had an infection spread by sexual contact?
- Do you have any other symptoms like swelling, redness, change in the color of your urine, fever, or unexpected weight loss?
The following tests may be performed:
- Prevent injury by wearing an athletic supporter during contact sports.
- Follow safe sex practices. If you are diagnosed with chlamydia or another STD, all of your sexual partners need to be checked. If they are infected.
- Make sure that children have received the MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella) vaccine.
Trojian TH, Lishnak TS, Heiman D. Epididymitis and Orchitis: An Overview. Am Fam Physician. April 2009; 79(7).
Wampler SM, Llanes M. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Prim Care. 2010;37:613-626.
Montgomery JS. Bloom DA. The diagnosis and management of scrotal masses. Med Clin North Am. 2011;95:235-244.
Barthold JS. Abnormalities of the testis and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 132.
|Review Date: 9/25/2013|
Reviewed By: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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