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Testicles are egg-shaped reproductive organs located in the scrotum. Pain in the testicles can be caused by minor injuries to the area. However, if you’re experiencing pain in the testicle, you need to have your symptoms evaluated.
Pain in the scrotum can be the result of serious conditions like testicular torsion or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Ignoring the pain may cause irreversible damage to the testicles and scrotum.
Often, problems with the testicles cause abdominal or groin pain before pain in the testicle develops. Unexplained abdominal or groin pain should also be evaluated by your doctor.
Trauma or injury to the testicles can cause pain, but pain in the testicle is often the result of medical issues that will require treatment. These include:
In some instances, pain in the testicle can be caused by a severe medical condition known as testicular torsion. In this condition, the testicle becomes twisted, cutting off 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 damage to the testicles. The condition occurs more frequently in males between the ages of 10 and 20.
Pain in the testicle is rarely caused by testicular cancer. Testicular cancer typically causes a lump on the testicles that’s often painless. Your doctor should evaluate any lump that forms on your testicles.
Call your doctor for an appointment if:
You should seek emergency medical attention if your testicular pain:
Pain that doesn’t require medical care can be treated at home using the following measures:
With more severe pain, you’ll need to seek treatment from your doctor. Your doctor will complete a physical exam of your abdomen, groin, and scrotum to determine what’s causing your pain and will also ask you about your current health conditions and any other symptoms.
To accurately diagnose your condition your doctor may need to order additional tests, including:
Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your pain, they’ll be able to provide treatment. The treatment may include:
Your doctor can successfully treat most cases of pain in the testicle. An untreated infection such as chlamydia or a serious condition such as testicular torsion may result in permanent damage to your testicles and scrotum. Damage may impact fertility and reproduction. Testicular torsion that results in gangrene can cause a life-threatening infection that can spread throughout your body.
Not all cases of pain in the testicle can be prevented, but there are some steps you can take to reduce the underlying causes of this pain. These steps include:
If you practice these steps and still experience testicular pain, seek medical treatment immediately.
Written by: Darla Burke
Medically reviewed on: Feb 22, 2016: Steve Kim, MD
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