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Reviewed by Frank Cockerill, MD, July 21, 2017
Testicle pain is an
uncomfortable symptom that men can
experience and has a variety of causes. Pain in one or both
testicles can be caused by an
infection (whether by an STD or non-STD agent),
hernia, or a
Infectious causes of testicular pain include
epididymitis (inflammation of
the tube that carries sperm from the testicle to the penis) caused by the
sexually transmitted diseases
orchitis (inflammation of one
or both of the testicles) caused by several types of
Injury to the testicles, even when seemingly minor, can also cause painful
testicles. The testicles are very sensitive to even minor injuries, but
this type of pain subsides quickly (generally over a few hours), and does
not have any other accompanying findings such as a swelling or mass.
Testicular torsionis a situation in which the spermatic cord
(cord that carries the blood supply to the testicle) becomes twisted
within the testicular sac, causing a great deal of pain.
Since the blood supply to the
testicle is cut off, this is an emergency situation that requires
immediate surgery or the testicle will die.
Testicular pain can also be caused by inguinal
hernias, which occur when
part of the intestine migrates down the inguinal canal into the
testis, creating a noticeable bulge in the testicular sac,
swelling, and pain.
Testicular masses, such as a hydrocele,
spermatocele, or (rarely) testicular cancer can also cause pain in the
testicles. A hydrocele
(fluid collection around the testicle),
that forms in the epididymis), and
testicular cancer can all be painless, but typically cause pain
when they become large enough to press on other structures in the groin.
Because testicular pain can be caused by some potentially life- or testicle-threatening
processes, it's important that anyone experiencing testicular pain be evaluated by a
physician to determine the cause. Sudden, severe testicle pain requires immediate
medical care. You should seek immediate care if: