Testicular pain can occur in or around one or both testicles, and the pain may actually originate from somewhere else in the body, like the groin or abdomen (this in known as referred pain). Testicular pain is not uncommon and can have a number of different causes. The testicles are a very sensitive region in the body and even a minor injury can cause discomfort or pain to develop here.
Typical signs and symptoms often include:
What Causes Testicular Pain?
There are a number of different causes for testicular pain, ranging from harmless to serious. Direct trauma or injury to the testicles can obviously cause pain, and depending on the severity, may require medical attention. However, if you are experiencing testicular pain in the absence of injury, it is important to have your symptoms evaluated to ensure there is not an underlying health condition.
Pain in the scrotum can be the result of serious conditions like sexually transmitted infection or testicular torsion. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to irreversible damage to the testicles and scrotum.
Some common underlying causes of testicular pain are outlined below.
Testicular Torsion – Torsion of the testes can occur if the spermatic cord becomes twisted. This causes restriction in blood flow to the testes, resulting in severe pain and potentially permanent damage. This condition is a medical emergency situation and should be addressed quickly. Pain and swelling of the scrotal sac are the major indicators that testicular torsion has occurred. The onset of pain can also be quite sudden.
Orchitis – Orchitis refers to the inflammation of the testicles, which can be caused by either bacterial or viral infection. While both testicles can be affected by orchitis at the same time, symptoms are restricted to just one testicle. The most common cause of orchitis is the mumps. Urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections can also lead to orchitis.
Epididymitis – The epididymis is the tube that stores and carries semen, located at the back of the testicles. Inflammation of this tube is referred to as epididymitis. While this inflammation can be caused by nonsexual infection, like a urinary tract infection or prostate infection, the most common source is sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Prostatitis – Prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland. This gland is located under the bladder and produces a fluid found in semen. The most common form of the condition is chronic prostatitis, of which the cause is unknown. Acute bacterial prostatitis, on the other hand, develops as a result of bacterial infection.
Kidney Stones – While kidney stones originate from the kidney, these solid masses made of crystals can be found at any point in the urinary tract. A kidney stone on the move commonly refers pain downward into the testicle region.
Treatment for Testicular Pain
Specific treatment for testicular pain will largely depend on the underlying cause. As noted above, some underlying causes are medical emergencies that require immediate attention. Testicular torsion, for instance, will more than likely require surgical repair by a urologist.
Other less severe conditions may be treated using a combination of approaches, including:
- Pain medication
- Anti-inflammatory agents
- Rest and ice packs
- Scrotal support and elevation