Testicular Pain (Pain in the Testicles)

  • Medical Author:
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Testicular (Ball) and Scrotum Pain Symptoms

Testicular pain can have a number of different causes, some of which constitute a medical emergency. Testicle or scrotum pain may be caused by

  • Trauma
  • Testicular torsion (a medical emergency)
  • Inflammation of the testicle or epididymis
  • Kidney stones
  • Tumors

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Testicular pain facts

  • Testicular pain refers to pain or discomfort that is felt in one or both testicles or "balls."
  • The primary role of the testicle is to produce sperm and the hormone testosterone.
  • There are numerous conditions that can cause testicular pain, and a few of them constitute medical emergencies.
  • The signs and symptoms may include
    • pain,
    • swelling,
    • redness, and
    • tenderness of the testicle and/or scrotum.
  • Nausea, vomiting and fever may also be present.
  • The different causes of testicular pain can be diagnosed using blood tests, urinalysis and imaging studies, in addition to a complete physical exam.
  • The treatment for testicular pain varies depending on the underlying cause, and may include pain medication, antibiotics, and surgical intervention.
  • The complications of the conditions causing testicular pain may include infection, impaired fertility, and permanent damage to the testicle or loss of the testicle.
  • Only a few causes of testicular pain are preventable.

What is testicular pain (pain in the testicles or balls)?

Testicular pain is pain or discomfort that is felt in one or both testicles. The pain may originate from the testicle itself, or it may be the result of other conditions affecting the scrotum, groin or abdomen. Though there are numerous medical conditions that can cause testicular pain, it is important to understand that a few of them constitute medical emergencies that require immediate medical attention in order to prevent impairment or loss of testicular function. Testicular pain can be an acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) condition.

What function do the testicles have?

The testicles form part of the male reproductive organs, with a primary function of producing sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

The testicles are contained within an external sac-like structure called the scrotum, which is located between the penis and the anus. Adult testicles are similar in size to large olives, and it is common for one testicle to hang lower than the other within the scrotum. Located near the back of each testicle lies the epididymis, a coiled tubular structure which functions to store and transport sperm. The spermatic cord (a tubular structure containing blood vessels, nerves, lymphatic vessels and the vas deferens) courses from the abdomen and is connected to each testicle. Apart from containing vital structures for each testicle, the spermatic cord also suspends the testicles within the scrotum.

Picture of the male urinary and reproductive structures
Picture of the male urinary and reproductive structures
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2015

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