Testicle pain: That can be behind it

Testicle pain: That can be behind it

Pain in the testicles is a significant concern for most men. However, a severe illness does not always cause pain in the testicles. For example, if the testicle pain occurs in connection with sexual intercourse, this is usually not a cause for concern. However, infections such as testicular inflammation or epididymitis can also cause pain in the testicles. Therefore, you should always have persistent testicular pain clarified by a doctor.

Testicular cancer very rarely causes

The fear that testicular pain is a symptom of testicular cancer is usually unfounded. Because testicular cancer typically manifests itself as a painless, hardened swelling or nodular “lump” in the testicles. Pain usually only occurs – if at all – at a very advanced stage.

Since the chances of recovery are excellent if testicular cancer is detected early, you must regularly check your testicles for changes and see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice any abnormalities.


Pain and swelling with inflammation of the testicles

Unilateral testicle pain, accompanied by swelling and redness of the testicles, can indicate testicular inflammation (orchitis). The symptoms often only occur on one side; more rarely, both testicles are affected. Symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue are often added.

Testicular inflammation is usually caused by viral or bacterial diseases, in which the pathogens are transmitted to the testicles via the blood or lymph. The mumps virus is the most common, but chickenpoxglandular fever and malaria can also cause testicular inflammation.

Epididymitis after urinary tract infections

Inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) usually occurs due to inflammation of the bladder, urethra or prostate. The germs rise via the vas deferens into the epididymis. This can initially manifest as back pain in the flank area or abdominal pain. 

Later, the symptoms are similar to those of testicular inflammation – often, there is also a combined inflammation of the testicles and epididymis (epididymorchitis). 


Testicular inflammation: fast treatment is important

Suppose you notice the symptoms of testicular inflammation. In that case, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible because if left untreated, the testicular tissue can be destroyed, and this can lead to infertility.

Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs and antibiotics if bacteria cause the inflammation. 

In addition, if you have a testicle infection, you should stay in bed and cool and elevate the testicles. There is a so-called jockstrap to help with this – a holding device for the testicles.

Drawing in testicles with hernia

In the case of a hernia (inguinal hernia), intestinal loops protrude through weak points in the abdominal wall. With certain congenital anatomical conditions, intestinal loops can penetrate the inguinal canal into the testicles.

This can manifest itself as a pulling in the testicles and groin, which occurs mainly after coughing, sneezing or straining. A bump or thickening in the groin or swelling of the testicles can also often be felt.

Doctors can usually diagnose a hernia simply by doing a physical exam. As a rule, an operation is necessary to prevent a dangerous entrapment of the intestine. 

Testicular torsion in children and adolescents

Testicular torsion is a rotation of the testicle around the blood vessels that supply it. The cause is usually a congenital lack of fixation of the testicles in the scrotum.

Testicular torsion occurs mainly in infants and adolescents and is characterized by sudden, severe pain in the testicles and groin. 

In addition, the affected testicle is usually swollen reddened and stands higher than on the opposite side. Nausea, vomiting and circulatory problems can also occur.


Danger from insufficient blood supply

Testicular torsion is an emergency because the twisting of the vessels cuts off the blood supply to the testicles. The first sign of a lack of blood flow is a bluish discolouration of the testicles – the testicles must then be “turned back” as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they may die. This is usually done through an operation. 

If you suspect your child has testicular torsion, it is best to go straight to the emergency room of a hospital so that treatment can be given as quickly as possible in an emergency.

Usually harmless: Testicle pain after sex

It is entirely normal for the testicles to be temporarily overly sensitive and possibly painful after intercourse. Burning or stabbing pain in the testicles can also occur, especially if there is no ejaculation or if the erection has been maintained for a long time. 

The reason for this is the increased blood volume in the male genitals during the erection, which can lead to spasms in the muscles in the seminal ducts if the excitement lasts for a long time.

These complaints are also known as “cavalier’s pain” – based on the idea that a cavalier delays his climax until the lady is sexually satisfied.

Improvement after ejaculation

“Cavalier’s pain” can be very uncomfortable but ultimately harmless. Ejaculation often provides relief, but in rare cases, the pain may persist after ejaculation.

In general, if you have persistent problems during sex, you should not be afraid to consult a doctor. Because even if there is no direct health risk, pain during sexual intercourse can disrupt sex life and thus lead to relationship problems and even depression.

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