Testicular pain is when there is pain or feeling of discomfort in one or both the testicles. The pain can vary from mild to severe, acute to chronic and full to sharp. There can also be a sensation of soreness or vague discomfort in the testicles. The main function of the testicle is to produce sperms and the hormone testosterone. Several diseases and other health problems can lead to testicular pain, and some causes are medical emergencies. Pain in the scrotum can be caused by serious problems such as testicular torsion or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Ignoring the pain can cause lifetime damage to the testicles and scrotum.
Usually, issues with the testicles start with abdominal or groin pain before pain in the testicle develops. Unexplained abdominal or groin pain should also be diagnosed by a doctor. Pain in the testicle is rarely caused by testicular cancer. Testicular cancer basically causes a lump on the testicles, which is mostly painless. Whereas, testicular torsion requires quick medical treatment. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anupam Bhargava, Chairman - Urology, Max Healthcare and a Patron of SeekMed, about the symptoms, causes and home remedies for testicular pain.
Testicular pain symptoms
The main symptoms of testicular pain is that there is pain or discomfort felt in one or both testicles. The pain may start from the testicle itself, or it may radiate to the testicles due to other health conditions related to the scrotum, groin and abdomen. Testicular pain can be an acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) condition. In fact, the pain can be recurring or constant. Testicular pain might be accompanied with swelling or inflammation, but there are no other specific symptoms of testicular pain.
Testicular pain causes
Testicular pain can have many causes, from infections to traumatic injuries. At times, testicular pain can be a medical emergency and is most often an issue that requires immediate treatment. The main causes of testicular pain are:
Epididymitis is an infection that originates in the epididymis, which is the organ where the sperm matures before releasing from the body. This infection can cause symptoms such as pain, scrotum feeling hot to touch and swelling. Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause epididymitis. Urinary tract infections can also result in epididymitis. Experts mostly treat this infection with antibiotics. Untreated epididymitis can lead to orchitis, which is another infection that causes inflammation of the testicle accompanied with other symptoms.
2. Testicular torsion
In some cases, testicular pain can be caused by a serious medical emergency known as testicular torsion. In this condition, the testicle becomes twisted, restricting the 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 long term damage to the testicles. The condition is more common in males between the ages of 10 and 20.
3. Testicular tumor
A testicular tumor can also cause pain and swelling in the testicular area. Other accompanying signs may also include a dull ache in the groin, lump in the testicle and testicular swelling. Symptoms of a testicular tumor can resemble several other conditions that affect males, such as inguinal hernias and epididymitis. A doctor can help diagnose the tumor or other underlying condition.
An injury on the testicles on around that area can result in bruising, pain, and swelling. A testicle can also rupture or develop a hematocele in such instances. A hematocele occurs when there is blood around the testicle and a blow affects the blood flow. If a person experiences a trauma to the testicles and is having pain and swelling, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.
Varicoceles are unusually large or twisted veins in the testicles. In some cases, this condition does not even cause any symptoms. It only causes acute pain in a person, which only gets worse if there is any kind of physical activity over the day. Varicoceles may also have an impact on a person’s fertility. Healthcare experts do not know what causes varicoceles, but it can be treated with surgical intervention.
When to see a doctor?
If is important to know that testicular pain should not be ignored and it requires immediate medical treatment in most cases. So, it is best to see a doctor if any of the following symptoms are being caused along with testicular pain:
- Discoloration of testicles
- Unusual or bloody discharge from the penis
- Testicular inflammation
- Pain getting worse gradually
Home remedies for testicular pain
According to Dr. Anupam, there are two useful home remedies that can ease testicular pain or swelling. They are:
1. Cold compression
Dip a soft cloth in cold water and wring it to remove the extra water. Then, place it on your testicles. Compress it gently for more effective healing. Do this 3-4 times a day, and there will be a reduction in symptoms such as inflammation and pain. The washcloth will provide a cold compression on the affected area. Your blood vessels get opened up by placing a cold compression on the testicles. Cold compression is extremely beneficial to get rid of the pain, discomfort and swelling on the testicles. In fact, you can even put an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas on that area for a cooling sensation and relief.
2. Lie down
One needs to lie down on their chest so that the testicles do not keep hanging. This can help in reducing the pain but is not a long term solution for testicular pain. You can also support your testicles while lying down by placing a rolled towel under your scrotum.
These were the symptoms, causes and home remedies for testicular pain by Dr. Anupam Bhargava. If a person has swelling or pain in one or both the testicles, it should be a priority to see a doctor. If the pain is accompanied by other signs like nausea and vomiting, one should surely seek immediate medical attention. The home remedies work only for a temporary period. In cases of testicular torsion, the sooner a person gets medical treatment, the more likely they can restore blood flow. Medical treatments are available for most of the causes of testicular pain.
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