Testicles are egg-shaped male reproductive organs located in the scrotum. Pain in the testicles can be caused by minor injuries to the area. Pain in the scrotum can be the result of serious conditions, such as testicular torsion or a sexually transmitted infection. 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. Unexplained abdominal or groin pain should also be evaluated by the doctor.
Trauma or injury to the testicles can cause pain, but pain in the testicle is often the result of medical issues that will require treatment. These include damage to the nerves of the scrotum caused by diabetic neuropathy, epididymitis or inflammation of the testicles caused by the STIs, Chlamydia or gangrene as a result of untreated testicular torsion or trauma, a hydrocele, which is characterised by swelling of the scrotum, an inguinal hernia, kidney stones, orchitis, or inflammation of the testicle, a spermatocele or fluid in the testicle, an undescended testicle, a varicocele, or a group of enlarged veins in the testicle.
In some instances, pain in the testicle can be caused by a severe medical condition known as testicular torsion. In this condition, the testicle becomes twisted, cutting off blood supply to the testicle. This can cause damage to the tissue.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency that must be treated quickly to prevent damage to the testicles. The condition occurs more frequently in males between the ages of 10 and 20. Pain in the testicle is rarely caused by testicular cancer. Testicular cancer typically causes a lump on the testicles that’s often painless.
The doctor will complete a physical examination of your abdomen, groin, and scrotum to determine what is causing the pain and will also ask you about the current health conditions and any other symptoms. To accurately diagnose the condition, the doctor may need to order additional tests, including an ultrasound of the testicles and scrotal sac, a urinalysis, urine cultures, an examination of secretions from the prostate, which requires a rectal examination. Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your pain, he will be able to provide treatment.
Pain that doesn’t require medical care can be treated at home by using the following measures:
Wear an athletic supporter to support the scrotum. Use ice to reduce the swelling in the scrotum. Take warm baths. Support your testicles while lying down by placing a rolled towel under your scrotum. Use over-the-counter pain medications to reduce pain.
With more severe pain, you will need to seek treatment from your doctor, antibiotics to treat an infection, surgery to untwist the testicle if you have testicular torsion, a surgical evaluation for potential correction of an undescended testicle, surgery to reduce fluid accumulation in the testicles.
An untreated infection, such as Chlamydia or a serious condition, such as testicular torsion, may result in permanent damage to the testicles and scrotum. Damage may impact fertility and reproduction. Testicular torsion that results in gangrene can cause a life-threatening infection that can spread throughout your body.
Not all cases of pain in the testicle can be prevented, but there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the underlying causes of this pain. These steps include wearing an athletic supporter to prevent injury to the testicles, practising safe sex, examining the testicles once per month to note changes or lumps, emptying the bladder completely when you urinate to help prevent urinary tract infections.
If these steps are practised and one still experience testicular pain, one should seek medical treatment immediately and call a doctor for an appointment if one feels a lump on the scrotum, develop a fever, the scrotum is red and warm to the touch, tender or recently been in contact with someone who has mumps. One should seek emergency medical attention, if experiencing a sudden or severe testicular pain, with nausea or vomiting or an injury that is painful or noticed swelling, which occurs after one hour.
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