Testicle pain is a symptom that can affect men of all ages and can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute pain is one that appears fast and lasts for a few hours or days, usually caused by a bump to the testicles.
Chronic pain, however, develops slowly and continues for several weeks or months, and may be a sign of more serious problems such as inguinal hernia, varicocele or prostatitis, for example.
In rare cases, this type of pain may also indicate the presence of testicular cancer, although it is more common for cancer to develop other alterations first such as a hard lump or difficulty urinating.
7 main causes for testicle pain
The main causes for testicular pain are:
Varicocele is a dilation of the testicular veins and occur mainly in the left testicle but can also affect only the right one or both. This change causes constant discomfort, swelling of the testicles, and they feel hot, especially after walking or doing some physical activity.
How to treat: In most cases, pain caused by varicocele is treated with painkiller medication like Paracetamol or Dipyrone. However, if there is a risk of infertility, or if the pain does not improve with the use of medication, a minor surgery may be needed to close the affected vein and allow blood to flow through the healthy vessels.
2. Inguinal hernia
An inguinal hernia is very common in children and young adults. It occurs when a part of the intestine passes through a weakened area of the abdominal muscles and enters the scrotum provoking swelling and can get worse when you get up, bend down or pick up weights, for example.
How to treat: In cases of inguinal hernia, the only treatment available is surgery. The surgery allows to reallocate the part of the intestine in the right place and reinforce the abdominal muscles.
An inflammation of the epididymis, is known as epididymitis. It is normally transmitted by an infectious bacteria during anal sex, causing symptoms such as intense pain, swelling of the testicle and fever with chills.
How to treat: You may need to see an urologist to initiate the use of antibiotics, usually 1 injection of ceftriaxone followed by 10 days with oral antibiotic doxycycline.
4. Testicular torsion
Testicular torsion is usually motive to go straight to the emergency room. It is more common before the age of 25 and causes a very intense pain. However, there are cases in which the rotation does not happen completely and, therefore, the man may present a constant discomfort or intense pain that comes and goes according to the movements.
How to treat: If there is suspicion of testicular torsion, it is important to go to the emergency room quickly to confirm the diagnosis and perform the surgery to return the testicle to the correct place, avoiding complications such as infertility.
Prostate inflammation, known as prostatitis, usually causes symptoms such as pain while urinating, fever, back pain, and a feeling your bladder is emptying. However, it is also common to feel pain in the testicles, which worsens when feeling the region.
How to treat: A good way to relieve pain is to sit in warm water for 15 minutes and practice Kegel exercises. In almost all cases it is also necessary to take antibiotics prescribed by an urologist, such as Ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin.
Although the mumps normally affect the parotid glands, which are found on the side of the face, the virus that causes the disease can also move to the testicles, causing inflammation. So pain may occur in the testicles after a mumps situation, due to the migration of the virus.
How to treat: Anti-inflammatory and painkiller medication, such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol, are usually used to relieve the symptoms. But it is also necessary to rest and drink plenty of water during the day to help the body eliminate the virus.
7. Testicular cancer
Testicular cancer rarely causes pain. However, in more advanced cases the pain may arise. In these cases it is also frequent that other symptoms appear and indicate that something is affecting the region, such as intense swelling, changes in the size of the testicles and lumps, for example.
How to treat: Whenever there is suspicion of cancer it is very important to consult an urologist as soon as possible, since early diagnosis improves the chances of a cure. In almost all cases it is necessary to remove the affected testicle.