Testicular Pain: Causes, Complications, and Treatment
Learn more about Testicular Pain and how to treat the different causes
What are the causes of Testicular Pain?
Testicular pain can have different causes. While some of them are harmless, others should not be underestimated. Pain in the testicles is usually noticeable through a pulling, feeling of pressure or stinging in the testicle area, which can spread to the groin area. Often you can also feel a pull in the groin (left lower abdomen).
For example, if you have suffered a bruise of the scrotum from a soccer ball or the like, the acute testicular pain can be explained logically by the testicular trauma (1). Testicular pain can also occur after sexual intercourse and a longer erection. One then speaks of “gentleman pain”. These usually disappear after several minutes and therefore can be considered as mild testicular pain.
It is different if the pain occurs spontaneously (sudden testicular pain that goes away itself) and without physical stimulus. Chronic testicular pain may indicate a serious illness or acute genitourinary system problems (2). This can be caused, for example, by a twisted testicle, a bacterial infection or in the worst case, even testicular cancer (only rarely!).
A more harmless cause of left testicular pain is a testicular varicocele. The inability of the veins to lead the blood back to the heart can cause stabbing pain or an unpleasant feeling of pressure in the left testicle. This feeling can be further intensified by wearing boxer shorts, in which the scrotum and the varicocele are additionally exposed to gravity (vertical load on the veins). In this case, it is generally recommended to wear underwear that provides better support. This is also because it helps to avoid one of the main risk factors for the further development of a varicocele (varicose vein testicle).
It is important in every case of testicular pain (right testicular pain / left testicular pain) that the cause is clarified by a medical specialist/urologist. Especially if the pain persists, has occurred spontaneously or is recurrent (chronic testicular pain).
Let us take a closer look at the various causes of pain in the testicles:
These are the most common causes of Testicular Pain:
1. Testicular pain due to physical trauma (bruising, impact, fall)
Harmless pain in the testicles usually includes testicular pain caused by physical trauma. This can be caused, for example, by a bruise (football/handball), an unforeseeable impact or a fall. The sudden testicular pain that occurs usually goes away after a few minutes. Nevertheless, the affected person should take care to protect his testicles better afterward and allow enough time for regeneration. If the pain persists, a hospital should be visited immediately to intervene if necessary.
- Severe pain
- Shortness of breath
If possible, cooling is very advisable. If a bruise has formed, it can last for several weeks. However, the pain should be over after a few minutes. To be on the safe side, it is always advisable to see a doctor if there is bruising on the testicles.
For sports with physical exertion and balls, it is recommended to wear a jockstrap to protect the genitals.
2. Testicular Pain due to Testicular Twisting / Testicular Torsion
Testicular pain due to torsion is caused when one of the testicles is twisted around the axis of the spermatic cord, thereby cutting off its own blood supply. Torsion of the testicles can be triggered by a wrong movement, for example. In rare cases the testicle twists without external influence, but only by the contraction of the muscles of the spermatic cord. Testicular torsion occurs mainly in children and younger men (up to 25 years of age). Testicular torsion pain level is more high compared to physical trauma.
Very strong pain (caused by dying tissue) is also called ischemic pain(3). The testicular pain sets in abruptly and cannot be alleviated by changing the position (raising the testicles / pulling the legs). The pain can radiate into the groin and abdomen.
Testicular pain caused by a torsion of the testis (testicular torsion(4)) is an emergency. Have yourself taken to hospital immediately (even at night!). The earlier the torsion is removed, the higher the chance that the injured tissue will recover. Only very small incisions are made in the scrotum to reverse the testicles. During the operation, the testicles are brought into a position in which they cannot turn back again. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.
Caution: After only 6 hours the damage to the testicles can be so severe that they must be removed! So it is important to act immediately and not to lose any time!
In the hospital, an ultrasound examination (Doppler sonography) is also carried out to check the blood supply to the testicles. Epididymitis can cause similar pain and must therefore be ruled out.
If the testicular torsion should disappear on its own and the pain in the testicles should subside, it is still very important to consult a doctor to control the danger. They often recommend fixing the testicle for the next time to minimize the danger of a new torsion.
3. Testicular Pain due to Epididymitis
Epididymitis often has a bacterial origin. These can have reached the testicles via a urinary tract infection, for example. These can then easily be treated with antibiotics. If the cause is a virus, the only thing that helps is usually bed rest and a slight cooling of the testicles. If mumps viruses are responsible for the symptoms, treatment is with interferon.
- A burning sensation when you urinate.
- Heat development, swelling (thick testicles) and hypersensitivity of the affected side
- Pain when standing (lying down relieves the pain)
If testicular pain occurs as a result of epididymitis(5), you should in any case consult a doctor/urologist at the next possible time to have the exact cause clarified by a doctor. Antibiotics and painkillers are often prescribed. It is very advisable to place the affected testicle high and to cool it slightly. Wear well-supported and cleanly ventilated underwear to minimize unpleasant pulling on the spermatic cord.
The best way to prevent testicular pain caused by epididymitis is to detect it early. If you experience pain while urinating, it is always advisable to consult a urologist.
4. Left Testicular Pain due to a Varicocele (varicose vein)
Left testicular pain caused by a varicose vein is one of the more harmless pain and diseases of the testicles. One also speaks of varicocele pain. The intensity of the pain is rarely as high as that caused by an acute contusion or a serious condition such as epididymitis. Nevertheless, these testicular pains can be very annoying and can appear acutely and disappear again. It is also commonly known as testicular pain that comes and goes. If the pain is caused by a varicocele, it is therefore very advisable to start the treatment of varicocele early on to avoid varicocele surgery. In this way, the pain can normally be relieved within a few days to weeks (severe cases) and also disappear completely. Using proven working testicular pain home remedies for varicocele pain is always advisable in cases of varicocele. The physical varicocele symptoms are for example a dull/light pulling in the testicle or a general feeling of heaviness of the left testicle. Learn more about the different treatment options here on our website and in the Varicocele Treatment guide. Very good results can be achieved, especially by wearing suitable underwear. You can also read the blog post about suitable clothing and underwear for varicocele.
Testicular Pain can be relieved by wearing the right underwear:
Do you also repeatedly have an unpleasant feeling of heaviness / pulling in the scrotum? Would you like to do something about it, but do not know how? Then read on now.
A very good solution for everyday life with varicocele is an underwear model, which is made of thin material, provides good air circulation around the testicles and at the same time supports them slightly so that the testicles and varicocele are not directly exposed to gravity. The underwear model of Savana improves blood circulation (through light compression) and protects the testicles from overheating (thin material). At the same time, healthy thermoregulation of the testicles can improve fertility. Read more about: Clothing with varicocele.