Testicular Pain Description
Pain in the testicles can be caused by minor injuries to the area. However, if you’re experiencing pain in the testicle, you need to have your symptoms evaluated. Pain in the scrotum can be the result of serious conditions like testicular torsion or a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Ignoring the pain may cause irreversible damage to the testicles and scrotum. Often, problems with the testicles cause abdominal or groin pain before pain in the testicle develops.
With testicular pain from any source, you or your male child may have any of these symptoms:
- Swelling, tenderness, or redness of the testicles and scrotum
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful urination or penile discharge
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Pain with ejaculation
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
Causes of Testicular Pain
Testicle pain has a number of possible causes. The testicles are very sensitive, and even a minor injury can cause testicle pain or discomfort. Pain might arise from within the testicle itself or from the coiled tube and supporting tissue behind the testicle.
Sometimes, what seems to be testicle pain is caused by a problem that starts in the groin, abdomen or somewhere else — for example, kidney stones and some hernias can cause testicle pain. The cause of testicle pain can’t always be identified.
Causes of testicle pain or pain in the testicle area can include:
- Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes)
- Epididymitis (testicle inflammation)
- Hydrocele (fluid buildup that causes swelling of the scrotum)
- Idiopathic testicular pain (unknown cause)
- Inguinal hernia
- Kidney stones
- Orchitis (inflamed testicle)
- Scrotal masses
- Spermatocele (fluid buildup in the testicle)
- Testicle injury or blow to the testicles
- Testicular torsion (twisted testicle)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
Treatments for Testicular Pain
The treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Treatment may require use of medications, or in more serious cases, surgery may be required.
- Pain relievers: Acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and similar drugs may help to relieve pain in cases due to injury or trauma.
- Antibiotics or anti-infective medications: Orchitis or epididymitis that is caused by a bacterial infection should be treated with antibiotics, usually for at least 10 days. Doxycycline and quinolones are usually preferred and may be given up to four weeks.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Oral medications such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline may be prescribed.
Steroid injections may be recommended to treat testicular pain if pain medication isn’t helping.
In certain situations, such as testicular torsion or testicular cancer, surgery may be needed. Testicular torsion is an urgent condition that must be treated promptly to avoid the loss of a testicle from loss of blood supply. Damage can occur after six hours if the blood flow is cut off. Almost 75% of patients must have a testicle removed if surgery is not performed within 12 hours.