Urological Conditions

Common Causes of Painful Testicles

Oct 22, 2023
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Common Causes of Painful Testicles

Numerous nerves in and around the testicles make them particularly sensitive. Even a mild blow to the area can cause significant discomfort.

Although distressing, this type of pain is usually temporary and resolves quickly without further care. However, numerous conditions linked to testicular pain require medical attention.

Our team at Gulf Coast Urology in Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas, is happy to provide information about the common causes of testicular pain and guidelines for when to call the doctor.

Common causes of painful testicles

Testicular pain can range from a mild ache that worsens slowly to sudden excruciating pain that requires immediate medical attention.

Here are some of the more common causes of both acute and chronic pain in the testicles:

1. Trauma

Direct trauma or injury to the testicles can cause immediate pain. This type usually results from sports injuries, accidents, or even minor bumps.

Although the pain usually subsides with time, it’s essential to be aware of complications like testicular rupture.

2. Testicular torsion

Testicular torsion is a medical emergency. It occurs when the spermatic cord, which provides blood flow to the testicle, twists and cuts off its blood supply.

Symptoms include sudden, severe testicular pain and swelling. Immediate medical attention is needed to untwist the cord and restore blood flow.

3. Epididymitis

The epididymis is a coiled tube located at the back of the testicle. Bacterial infections, including sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, are the most common culprits behind epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis). Symptoms include testicular pain, redness, warmth, and swelling.

4. Orchitis

Orchitis (inflammation of one or both testicles) is often linked to bacterial or viral infections, including the mumps virus. Symptoms may include swelling, redness, and fever.

5. Inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine pushes into the inguinal canal. Symptoms might include a visible bulge and moderate to severe pain.

6. Kidney stones

Kidney stones can sometimes cause referred pain to the testicles.

7. Testicular cancer

Although testicular cancer is relatively rare, a persistent lump or pain in the testicle should always be evaluated by a medical professional. Early detection and treatment are crucial.

8. Varicocele

A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, similar to varicose veins. They are more common on the left side and can cause a feeling of heaviness or a dull ache.

9. Hydrocele

A hydrocele occurs when fluid builds up around the testicle, leading to swelling of the scrotum. It may be painless or cause significant discomfort.

10. Spermatocele

A spermatocele is a benign cyst in the epididymis, filled with a milky fluid containing sperm. Spermatocele is typically painless but can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.

When to seek medical attention for testicular pain

We recommend seeking medical attention at Gulf Coast Urology immediately if you experience severe or sudden testicular pain. Conditions like testicular torsion require timely intervention. Also, schedule a visit if you experience pain for more than an hour after trauma.

We also recommend seeing one of our urologists if your pain is persistent or chronic or if you notice a lump or swelling in the testicular area. Other symptoms to watch for include fever, redness, warmth, or other signs of infection.

Otherwise, always prioritize your health by seeking medical advice when in doubt. Call Gulf Coast Urology today to schedule a visit or request an appointment online.

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