Ow! My Balls
What Are the Causes of Testicular Pain?
The most common cause of pain in the testicles is a swift kick in the nuts by an irate female. The second most common cause of testicular pain is trauma from attempting stupids stunts. But many serious medical conditions can also cause aches or sharp pains in the scrotum. If you have discomfort in the testicles, you should learn about the possible origins and see a doctor.
Epididymitis (Infection of the Epididymis)
The epididymis is a structure that sits on top of, at the back of, and partially around the sides of the testicles. This is the organ that produces sperm. The epididymis is connected to the vas deferens, a tube which carries the sperm out of the scrotum. Infection of the epididymis can be caused by Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, but also by seepage of urine through the ejaculation ducts. Pain develops gradually over a period of days until it becomes more intense. The scrotal sac may become red, tender, and swollen as well.
Testicular Torsion (Twisted Testicle)
Normally, the epididymis is connected to the scrotum wall; this prevents the testicles from repositioning and twisting inside the scrotum. If there is a deformity and the testicles are free to spin, a testicle can become twisted. This cuts off the blood supply to the testicle, and results in severe pain that comes on suddenly. If a man does not get to a hospital in time, the testicle can die, resulting in decreased fertility.
In men, the inguinal canal is a passage in the front of the abdomen that houses the spermatic cord. During an inguinal hernia, part of the intestine breaks through a weak spot in the muscle wall that contains the intestines, and pushes into the inguinal canal. This can put enormous strain on the scrotum if the intestine strays too far off course.
Infections in general are a common source of pain in the scrotum, and particularly the testicles. Infections can spread from the penis and bladder down to the testes. If left untreated, STDs, bladder and kidney infections, and Fournier's gangrene (necrosis of the perineum) can affect the testicles.
Kidney and Bladder Stones
Rarely, having stones in the kidney or bladder may cause pain radiates throughout the lower abdomen, including the testicles. If this is the case, the patient will feel pain not only in the balls, but in other parts of the body too.
A build-up of fluid in the prostate area and vas deferens can cause pain that radiates to the testicles. The simplest cure is to ejaculate, though ice packs may also alleviate the condition.
Should I go to the doctor for pain in my testicles?
If you have sharp pain, or pain accompanied by nausea, fever, painful urination, and scrotal swelling, you should seek emergency care--especially if the onset is sudden, as this could indicate testicular torsion.
Conditions such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer do not normally manifest as isolated pain in the scrotum, so these can be ruled out.
© Had2Know 2010