Testicular Pain

Pain in the testicles can be caused by many things. These include an injury to your testicles or surrounding soft tissues, an infection, and testicular torsion.

Injuries and genital problems most often happen during sports or recreational activities, at work, or in a fall. Pain caused by an injury usually goes away quickly. There is usually no long-term harm to your testicles.

Infections that may cause pain include:

  • An infection of the testicles. This is called orchitis.
  • An abscess in the scrotum or testicles.
  • Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • A swelling of the tube attached to a testicle. This swelling is called epididymitis. It can cause pain and is sometimes caused by an infection.

Testicular torsion happens when a testicle twists on the spermatic cord. This cuts off the blood supply to the testicle. This is a serious condition that requires emergency surgery. Time is of the essence.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Rest and protect your testicles and groin. Stop, change, or take a break from any activity that may be causing your pain or soreness.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Wear briefs, not boxers. Briefs help support the injured area. You can use a jock strap if it helps relieve your pain.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe or increasing pain.
  • You notice a change in how your testicles look or are positioned in your scrotum.
  • You notice new or worse swelling in your scrotum.
  • You have symptoms of a urinary problem, such as a urinary tract infection. These may include:
    • Pain or burning when you urinate.
    • A frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
    • Pain in the flank, which is just below the rib cage and above the waist on either side of the back.
    • Blood in your urine.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.