Possible Causes of Testicle Pain
A frequent reason for doctor a consultation, testicle pain should never be taken lightly. Whether acute or chronic, they must lead to a consultation quickly. What are their causes? How to relieve them?
Testicular pain can be acute or chronic. Among the acute pains, the most frequent are:
→ Torsion of the testicle (twisted)
During torsion, the blood no longer reaches the testicle (“ischemia”) because it is fed by a single artery. It is therefore sufficient that this artery is blocked to lead to a real infarction of the testicle. “You should know that the testicle is free inside the scrotal sac and that if the cord turns on itself, the artery which is in the middle strangles and the blood will no longer descend, which will cause a severe pain.
If you notice redness, swelling, pain, or inflammation of the scrotum or testicle, call your doctor right away. These can also be symptoms of a serious condition called testicular torsion, which is when one of your testicles is twisted.
There is no real triggering factor, although sometimes it happens after being hit (during a soccer match for example). It can also happen in deep sleep. must be seen urgently at the nearest hospital because if you do not restore blood flow within six hours, the testicle will die and it will have to be removed. Note that this happens very rarely after 30 years old.
→ The torsion of the testicular hydatid
The hydatid of Morgagni is a remnant of the Mullerian duct and is a common testicular appendage. This structure can also become torted, presenting with similar sudden onset pain.
The sessile hydatid is an embryonic residue, like the appendix, it is useless. But it can also twist and “simulate” a torsion of the testicle: intense pain, one-sided. “The diagnosis is often made in the operating room during the operation for suspicion of torsion”, specifies the urologist.
Read also: Sagging Testicles | My balls are hanging down, what should I do?
→ Hydrocele – enlarged testicle no pain
Inside the scrotum, a thin layer of tissue surrounds each testicle. When fluid or blood fills this sheath, the condition is called a hydrocele. Usually the scrotum will swell, and there may or may not be pain. A hydrocele can develop around one or both testicles.
Hydroceles are more common in infants and tend to resolve within a year or so after birth. But inflammation or injury can cause hydroceles to form in boys and older men.
Surgery may be needed to remove the hydrocele. You may need to drain fluid or blood from around the testicle after surgery, which is called a hydrocelectomy.
Appointments and self-exams are recommended, as hydroceles can form again, even after removal.
→ Acute inflammatory and infectious pain (Epididymitis)
Infections of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testis (orchitis or even orchi-epididymitis) are manifested by progressive testicular pain, sometimes associated with urinary signs or even fever. The testicle will also swell, it can even triple in size. In the absence of appropriate treatment, the infection can progress to a testicular abscess. Do not hesitate to consult urgently to establish a diagnosis and start antibiotic treatment as quickly as possible. A particular form of orchitis can occur. on the occasion of a mumps: it is the mumps orchitis which can affect one but it is not rare, the two testicles.
Epididymitis is a coiled tube located behind each testicle. The epididymis plays a role in collecting and storing sperm before ejaculation during sexual intercourse and as a site for sperm maturation.
Epididymitis is a condition in which the epididymis becomes inflamed due to infection or other conditions. The epididymis is the tube at the back of the testes that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra. Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection or sexually transmitted disease.
Usually, the pain of epididymitis starts slowly and builds up gradually. Pain can range from mild to severe. Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Tenderness of the scrotum and/or testicles.
- Swelling or redness in the scrotum or testicles.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach ache.
- Fluid coming out of the penis.
- A burning feeling when urinating.
- Feeling the need to urinate frequently and/or urgently.
Because some of the symptoms of epididymitis can be similar to those of testicular torsion (twisting of the testicles), it’s important to tell your doctor how your symptoms started and how quickly they progressed to help him make an accurate diagnosis.
As a first step, the doctor will give antibiotics to relieve the symptoms of epididymitis. Even if you feel better after taking antibiotics, it’s best to continue until the antibiotics wear off so that the infection is completely cleared.
If your testicles are still sore and swollen, try taking a pain reliever like ibuprofen to relieve it. You can also compress the groin area with a cloth filled with ice cubes and use special underwear for a few days.
No less important, avoid unprotected sex and the habit of changing partners. Remember, these things can increase your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and increase your risk of epididymitis.
Surgery is required if the epididymis needs to be removed or to eliminate the cause.
What tests are commonly done to diagnose this condition?
The doctor may start with a physical exam to examine the testicles or groin area for abnormal changes, such as discharge from the penis. The doctor may take a sample of the fluid to test for disease.
Some of the other tests to diagnose this condition are:
Urine and blood tests: samples are taken to look for abnormalities.
Ultrasound (USG): this imaging test can rule out testicular torsion and other conditions. This test helps doctors to see parts of the body clearly and see the root cause.
→ Trauma or injuries to the testicle
This is pain caused by trauma. Most often, the pain goes away quickly. If the pain remains, or if it increases, or if there is a hematoma with a scrotum that quickly turns blue, urgent surgical advice is needed to rule out a torsion or rupture of the testicle.
Milder injuries can be treated with oral painkillers for a day or two.
→ Chronic pain which corresponds to pain of low intensity – Varicocele
In young people, a feeling of heaviness on the left side is linked to a varicocele. “The left spermatic vein being longer, the blood of the left testicle circulates less well, it has difficulty to go up causing dilation of the veins of the testicle. This dilation will increase the temperature of the testicle and will affect the spermatogenesis with consequences in terms of fertility. The pains are not typical, sometimes it is a simple heaviness at the end of the day.
Humans have arteries throughout their bodies that deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the bones, tissues, and organs.
A varicocele is a swelling of the veins in the scrotum (scrotum). Varicoceles occur in the scrotum, which holds the testicles together and contains arteries and veins in the spermatic cord in each testicle above the scrotum.
You also have blood vessels that carry oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart and lungs. When the veins in the testicles enlarge, it is called a varicocele. Varicoceles affect up to 15 percent of men.
Like varicose veins in your legs, varicoceles may appear to bulge under the skin of your scrotum.
They tend to form in the left testicle because the veins on the left side hang lower. This makes it a little harder for the valves in those veins to keep pushing blood into the body.
You may not need treatment for a varicocele, although if it causes you pain or fertility problems, then you should discuss treatment options with a urologist.
Surgery can block the flow of blood in the enlarged part of the affected vein and divert it through another vein. Surgery is usually successful in relieving pain and allowing healthy testicular function. Less than 1 in 10 surgical patients have recurrent varicoceles.
→ Unusual testicle pain
They represent a frequent reason for consultation because they cause a lot of concern. The clinical examination is normal, the ultrasound also, the bacteriological examinations do not indicate anything in particular. Most of the time, they disappear on their own. When all the possible causes have been eliminated, these pains are put away. in the case of psychosomatic pain.
Orchitis is inflammation of the testicles, usually triggered by a viral or bacterial infection. Pain can start in the left or right testicle and stay there or spread throughout the scrotum.
In addition to pain, the scrotum or testicles may be painful and swell and become warm. Fever, nausea and vomiting may also occur. The skin may become red, and the scrotum may feel firmer or softer than usual.
The mumps virus is often the cause of orchitis. If that’s the case, then symptoms in the scrotum may not appear for up to a week. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea, or urinary tract infections can also cause orchitis.
Treatment options for orchitis depend on the cause. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viruses, like mumps, usually just need time to clear up on their own. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve your symptoms.
→ Spermatocele (fluid buildup in the testicle)
Spermatoceles are cysts or fluid-filled sacs that form in the tube that carries sperm from the top of the testicle. Spermatoceles can develop in both testes.
If the cyst remains small, you may never have any symptoms. If they grow, they may hurt and feel heavy.
You may notice changes in the affected testicle during the self-examination. If so, you should see a doctor. It is not known why spermatoceles form. If you have no symptoms, you may not need any treatment.
If you experience pain and discomfort, a surgical procedure called a spermatocelectomy can remove the cyst.
This surgery carries risks that affect fertility, so in some cases, men are advised to wait until they are done with having children before undergoing the procedure.
→ Testicular cancer
When cancer cells form in the testicles, it is called testicular cancer. Even if the cancer spreads to other parts of your body, the diagnosis is testicular cancer. It is not always clear why a man develops this type of cancer.
Risk factors include a family history of testicular cancer and having an undescended testicle. But a person without risk factors can develop the disease.
Testicular cancer is usually first discovered during a self-examination or physical examination by a doctor. A lump or swelling in the scrotum may indicate a cancerous tumor.
At first, there may be no pain. But if you notice a lump or other change in one or both testicles, and you feel even mild pain there, see a doctor immediately.
Treatment for testicular cancer depends on the type of cancer and how much the tumor has grown or the cancer has spread. Some options include:
Radiation therapy (radio therapy). It involves using high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. This is usually done if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy. You will take the medication orally or inject it into your body to look for cancer cells to destroy. It tends to be used if the cancer has spread beyond the testicle.
Operation. This will remove the tumor, and often involves removing the testicle, although normal sexual activity and fertility are usually not affected. Read more: Testicular Cancer | Symptoms, Stages, Types, Diagnoses, Chances of Surviving, Treatments
Questions about testicle pain
Pain in the testicles after prostatectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the prostate gland): normal?
If the mechanism of pain after prostatectomy has never been really understood, it is always necessary to eliminate an infection, it is essential. Although this pain is rare, it does require testing and treatment.
Testicular and lumbar pain (kidneys, back): the sign of what?
There is great confusion between testicular torsion and renal colitis. Pain from renal colitis is pain that can radiate to the genitals (male and female). “This is called the semiology of pain: on clinical examination, a normal testicle is found without pain, but it is above all imaging that restores the diagnosis”, underlines the specialist.
Testicular pain after inguinal hernia operation: normal?
Again, testicular pain is never there for no reason. A hernia is a wall defect, a weakness located in the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal is where the spermatic cord arrives at the level of the scrotum. “During the operation which aims to restore the strength of this wall, the cord can sometimes be compressed, which may explain the testicular pain in the immediate post-operative period, but this pain will disappear quickly”, reassures the urologist.
Testicular pain and STDs
Infections of the testis cause pain: epididymitis or orchi-epididymitis. Depending on the bacteria responsible, we can distinguish two types of infection:
Infections caused by intestinal bacteria such as the famous Escherichia coli, which lead to severe infections with fever, fatigue, urinary signs such as burns and the testicle which swells up to abscess.
The whole procession of STDs: chlamydia, mycoplasmas, ureaplasma or even gonococcus cause urethritis with discharge and urinary burns (the famous “hot piss”). But these germs can reach the urethra, prostate, vas deferens and seminal vesicles, and cause acute prostatitis and epididymitis / orchi-epididymitis. “Hence the importance of looking for all these bacteria when prescribing a bacteriological examination”, adds Dr Vincent Hupertan.
Testicular pain in adolescents: why, normal?
“You always have to worry about pain, especially when it is acute, meaning that it comes on suddenly. When it is very painful, you should not take a Doliprane and wait for it to pass. . It is urgent to remove the doubt by an emergency consultation “, warns the urologist.
Read more: STD & STI | List of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections
Testicular and lower abdomen pain: why?
Urogenital pain which is accompanied by functional urinary signs (“urgent urges”, urination often in small quantities), associated with pelvic heaviness, testicular pain, even painful ejaculation, should suggest chronic bacterial or abacterial prostatitis (there are no more bacteria). Most often, the pain is diffuse in the lower abdomen or in the perineum.
How to relieve testicle pain?
Treatment for testicular pain will depend on its cause. Any sudden, unilateral, intense testicular pain requires an emergency consultation, because there is suspicion of torsion. It is the doctor who will examine and decide whether to perform an ultrasound or other examinations. “It is not uncommon for the patient to leave the emergency room to go directly to the operating room if there is suspicion of torsion.
If the pain is not too intense, if there are other signs, we can prescribe an ultrasound to establish the diagnosis. As for chronic pain, it is necessary to carry out an additional bacteriological assessment to eliminate the infection. If it is, we will prescribe antibiotics, to eradicate it “, comments Dr. Vincent Hupertan .
When to consult a doctor?
Whether violent painful or not, testicular pain requires an emergency consultation. Additional tests are sometimes necessary to determine the exact cause of testicular pain.
Whether the tests are necessary depends on what the doctor finds from the medical history and physical examination. However, some examinations are typically performed.
Examinations to detect possible sexually transmitted diseases
Color Doppler ultrasound if testicular torsion seems possible
Timely testicular torsion surgery is essential, so when doctors are very concerned and think about testicular torsion, they may perform the surgery immediately instead of having tests.
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Information: Cleverly Smart is not a substitute for a doctor. Always consult a doctor to treat your health condition.
Sources: PinterPandai, Health Line, Cleveland Clinic, Medical News Today
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