The testicles are very sensitive. Even a very minor injury can cause intense pain in the scrotum, the testicle itself or in the coiled tube the delivers sperm and supporting tissue behind it (epididymis). For instance, a direct blow from a kick, punch, sporting mishap or car accident can result in extreme – but usually temporary – pain, swelling and bruising.
Many men are inclined to ignore testicular pain and hope that it will simply go away. However, if a man experiences severe testicular pain from a severe trauma or for no apparent reason, he should see a physician right away. Some conditions that cause this symptom require prompt medical attention. These include:
- A hematocele – A direct blow to the scrotum can cause blood to collect in between its multiple layers. Depending on the level of discomfort it causes, a hematocele may need to be drained during a minor surgical procedure.
- Inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) – This common cause of testicular pain usually results from a urinary tract or sexually transmitted infection. In older men, it can be caused by an enlarged prostate gland.
- Inflammation of a testicle (orchitis) – Usually caused by a bacterial infection, orchitis often accompanies epididymitis that has been left untreated for several days.
- Varicoceles – The veins that transport oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart can fail, allowing blood to build up in the scrotum.
- Testicular torsion – A testicle can sometimes twist inside the scrotum. When this happens, the blood vessels within the spermatic cord also become twisted, which can inhibit blood flow to the affected testicle. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment to save the testicle.
- Inguinal hernia – Intestinal or fatty tissue can sometimes push through a weak point in the abdominal muscles and slide into the scrotum, causing pain and swelling.
- Kidney stones – Pain from kidney stones can sometimes project downward into the scrotal area.
- Testicular tumor – Though relatively rare, lumps and masses can develop in the testicles and create discomfort.
Men who would like to have their testicular pain evaluated are welcome to consult with the multispecialty team of experts in the Urologic Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. We offer a full range of diagnostic tests in a convenient setting and provide our patients with prompt and accurate results.
To learn more about Moffitt’s services, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.