Swollen testicles (also known as scrotal swelling) can be a sign of a variety of things, including injury, infection or a testicular tumor. If you have swollen testicles, they appear larger and may be red or shiny. You may notice a lump, but you may also have swelling with no lump. Sometimes both testicles become swollen. Other times, only one testicle swells.
Your testicles are small, egg-shaped reproductive (sex) organs in a thin sac of skin (scrotum) found below your penis. Your testicles make hormones and sperm. Most people designated male at birth (DMAB) have two testicles in their scrotum.
What other symptoms might I have that go along with swollen testicles?
If you have swollen testicles, you may also have other symptoms, including:
Nausea and/or vomiting.
Discharge from your penis.
Why are my testicles swollen?
Many conditions can cause swelling in one or sometimes both testicles. These include:
Trauma (injury) can cause swollen testicles. Usually the result of a direct kick or accident, you’ll likely feel severe pain, and then your scrotum may become red or start to swell. It’s important to seek medical care promptly so that the blood supply to your testicle isn’t blocked. Contact your provider if you have:
An injury that breaks through (punctures) your scrotum.
Bruising or swelling in your scrotum.
Difficulty peeing or blood in your pee.
A fever after injury.
Hydrocele (pronounced hy-dra-sel) is when your scrotum fills with extra fluid, making it look swollen. It usually develops on only one side and tends to be painless. It’s much more common in babies, but sometimes you can get it as an adult. Hydrocele usually goes away on its own.
Epididymitis (pronounced e-pe-di-de-mi-tis) is a medical term for swelling and irritation of your epididymis, a tube at the back of your testicle that carries sperm. This condition causes pain and swelling in your testicle. Usually, epididymitis develops from a sexually transmitted infection (STI, formerly known as sexually transmitted disease or STD) or from a bacterial or viral infection. If infection is the cause of your swollen testicles, your provider will likely prescribe antibiotics as well as rest, fluids and ice to help with your symptoms.
Inguinal hernia is when fatty tissue or part of your intestine pokes into your groin at the top of your inner thigh. They’re fairly common in older adults who were DMAB. If the hernia is near your thigh, you may not feel any pain. But if it’s in your scrotum, you may notice pain and swelling in your testicle. An inguinal hernia doesn’t usually go away on its own and you may need surgery.
Varicocele (pronounced ver-e-kol-sel) is a condition that affects the veins inside your scrotum. It’s usually painless, but you may see swelling. Varicocele more commonly causes swelling in your left testicle, but sometimes effects the right testicle or both testicles. To help manage your symptoms, your provider may recommend making lifestyle changes, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers for any pain and ice for your swollen testicle. If you’re in a lot of pain or have concerns about your fertility, your provider may suggest surgery.
Orchitis (pronounced or-kit-es) is a swelling in one or both testicles. It’s the result of an infection, which may be viral, bacterial or sexually transmitted (STI). You may have mild to severe pain and swelling. Orchitis often begins in one testicle, and then gradually spreads to the other. It can also affect your scrotum. If your symptoms don’t start to get better within a couple of days, your doctor may give you antibiotics.
Fluid buildup (edema) in your scrotum may be a sign of congestive heart failure. Body swelling is a common symptom of heart failure as you start to hold onto extra fluids. If your swollen testicles are related to heart failure, it’s likely that other areas of your body are swollen too. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend medications — like certain blood pressure medications and water pills (diuretics) — and lifestyle changes to help improve your quality of life.
Spermatocele (pronounced sper-mat-e-sel) is a lump (cyst) filled with fluid. It’s usually above or behind your testicle. Sometimes called spermatic cysts or epididymal cysts, spermatocele is not cancerous (benign). You may have swelling, a dull ache or a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum. If a spermatocele doesn’t bother you much, you might not need any treatment. If it’s uncomfortable, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to remove the lump.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency. Usually, the spermatic cord supplies blood to your testicles. In testicular torsion, this cord twists within your scrotum, interrupting blood flow. It can happen without a clear cause or after injury to your testicles. If you have sudden, severe pain in one testicle, swelling on one side of the scrotum, or a visible lump on your testicle, seek medical attention immediately.
Testicular cancer may develop when cancerous (malignant) cells grow in your testicle. It’s usually one-sided but rarely affects both testes. Testicular tumors may feel like:
A lump in your testicle.
Heaviness, pain or discomfort in your scrotum.
Testicular cancer is most common between the ages of 20 to 35 and is highly treatable if you seek treatment early.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that may — rarely — lead to a swollen scrotum. About 70% of tuberculosis cases affect the lungs, but sometimes pulmonary tuberculosis can spread to other parts of the body, including the testicles. If you notice swelling with or without pain, particularly if there’s a hard lump on your testicle, contact your physician for evaluation.
Can surgery make my testicles swell?
It’s common for swelling to occur following surgery as your body begins to heal. Surgery to your abdomen or genital area, like a vasectomy, can lead to scrotal swelling. Your healthcare provider may recommend icing the area or taking anti-inflammatory medications to help with any pain and swelling in your scrotum following surgery.
Do swollen testicles cause pain?
Sometimes swollen testicles cause pain. Other times you may notice swelling in your scrotum without pain. It really depends on the cause of your swelling. You may feel pain if your swollen testicles are the result of conditions like trauma, testicular torsion or infection. Other causes of scrotal swelling, like spermatocele, varicocele or testicular cancer, may not cause pain.
Care and Treatment
How is this symptom treated?
Treatment for swollen testicles depends on what caused the swelling in the first place. To determine the cause, your healthcare provider will need to know the history of the swelling and will conduct a physical exam. They may also order urine tests and/or ultrasound. If you have testicular torsion, you’ll need surgery right away. If you have an infection, you’ll receive antibiotics. Either way, you might want to take over-the-counter pain relievers and practice self-care.
What should I do if my testicle is swollen?
You can apply an icepack (wrapped in a towel) to your scrotum.
Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil® or Aleve®).
Avoid strenuous physical activities.
Take a bath.
Elevate your scrotum with a folded towel to encourage any fluid to drain.
Wear an athletic support to lift your scrotum and help it drain.
How can swollen testicles be prevented?
The short answer is: It depends. You can reduce your risk of testicular trauma by wearing protective gear in sports. Other preventive measures include practicing safe sex, eating right, exercising regularly and avoiding exposure to tobacco products.
Will a swollen testicle go away?
Yes, scrotal swelling (swollen testicles) usually goes away with treatment of the underlying causes. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider if you notice swelling in your testicles (or scrotum), as they can likely help.
When to Call the Doctor
When should this symptom be treated by a doctor or healthcare provider?
If your scrotal pain is severe or long-lasting, or the swelling continues to increase rather than staying the same, reach out to your healthcare provider. Watch out for these signs and symptoms and don’t hesitate to call your provider if you have:
Severe pain in your genitals with no trauma.
Changes in the appearance of your testicles like swelling or redness.
Swelling in your testicles with nausea and vomiting.
Swelling in your testicles with fever.
Pain when peeing (urinating).
Pain during sex.
Blood in your urine or semen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will swollen testicles affect my fertility?
Depending on the cause, swollen testicles may impact your fertility. But this impact is often reversible after treatment for the cause of your swelling.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
You shouldn’t ignore pain or swelling in your testicles. Some of the conditions that lead to swollen testicles are medical emergencies. Regularly check your testicles for lumps, redness or swelling. If you don’t know how to do this, ask your doctor.
Causes of testiclar and scrotal swelling
Any changes to the size and shape of your family jewels deserve close attention, so if you’re experiencing swollen testicles it’s best to get to the bottom of it ASAP. Whether it’s the result of a kick in the crotch or testicular cancer, a chat with your doctor will help you determine the cause. But to get you up to speed, we’re covering the most common causes of swelling in this area and how to keep tabs on your testicular health.
If you experience sudden, severe pain in your testicles
Seek immediate medical help. This could be a sign of testicular torsion. Testicular torsion happens when a testicle twists in the scrotum, cutting off the blood supply and causing swelling. Unless the condition is treated quickly, the testicle can die. Call 000 or head to your nearest hospital straight away.
A quick anatomy explainer… what are testicles?
The testes — also known as testicles — are important parts of the male reproductive system. They’re a pair of oval-shaped glands responsible for making sperm and testosterone. Your testes sit inside your scrotum, which is the sac of skin that hangs under the base of your penis, so your testes are kept outside of your abdomen. You might refer to your scrotum and its contents as your balls. In this sense, swollen balls could be due to swelling in one or both of your testes or it could be swelling in other parts of your scrotum and its contents, such as the epididymis (a coiled tube that lies at the back of each testicle) or the vas deferens (the tube that connects your epididymis to your urinary tract).
What causes swollen testicles?
There are a couple of reasons why your testes may be swollen, some more critical than others. This point isn’t to make you panic but to encourage you not to sweep the issue under the rug in the hope it will clear up on its own.
Swelling is a normal part of inflammation (along with redness, heat and pain), which is the body’s response to injury.
Common causes of testicular swelling
Orchitis is inflammation of one testis or both testes and is usually caused by either bacterial or viral infection. Orchitis may be accompanied by fever, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, painful urination, painful ejaculation, blood in the semen, or abnormal discharge. Mumps is the most common cause of orchitis.
Orchitis rarely occurs on its own. Usually inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) occurs at the same time, resulting in epidiymo-orchitis. Bacterial infections are the most common causes of epididymitis and epididymo-orchitis.
Testicular torsion occurs when the testis rotates inside the scrotum twisting the spermatic cord, which can cut off blood flow to the testicle. It causes sudden and severe testicular pain, and swelling in the scrotum or lower abdomen, and can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, discoloration of the scrotum, strange positioning of the testicle, and difficulty walking. It’s not always clear what causes testicular torsion but it most frequently occurs during sleep, after an injury to the area, and within hours of intense activity. The condition requires immediate medical attention and the longer treatment is delayed, the more likely you’ll have permanent damage to the testicle.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump or swelling in one of the testis. Other symptoms include a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, and a change in size or shape of your testes. If the cancer has spread, symptoms could also include backaches, coughing or breathlessness, and enlarged, tender nipples.
Testicular cancer is the second most common cancer affecting young Australian men but it’s curable in 95% of cases. It’s important to find it early, which is why you should regularly check your testes and see a doctor about any swelling or other changes.
What causes swelling in your scrotum and its other contents?
Scrotal swelling and inflammation in the other structures within your scrotum are also important to address with your doctor.
Common causes of swollen balls
Unlike other organs, testes don’t have muscles or bones to protect them making them more susceptible to injury. As many people know all too well, getting kicked, crushed, or struck below the belt can cause substantial pain as well as swelling. Trauma to the scrotum can sometimes cause a haematocele (a collection of blood).
Epididymitis is a painful swelling or inflammation that occurs on the epididymis — a thin, coiled tube connected to the testes, within the scrotum. It may be caused by a bacterial or viral infection such as a sexually transmitted infection or a urinary tract infection. It may also occur due to friction against a surface like a bike seat or a saddle.
A hydrocele is a fluid-filled sac that forms around the testis and can cause swelling. If you’re older, this is the most common cause of swelling around the testes, although it can happen at any age and sometimes follows injury or inflammation. Hydroceles are usually painless but can increase in size and cause discomfort, requiring treatment.
A varicocele is a swelling of the veins above your testes. It’s relatively common, and usually happens on the left side of the scrotum.
A hernia is when part of an organ or tissue passes from its normal location into another part of the body. An inguinal hernia is when a part of your intestine pushes through a weak spot in your groin, into your scrotum. You’ll likely feel swelling around your scrotum, dull ache or pressure, or pain when you cough, bend or lift something heavy. This is most common in newborns or young boys, but it may also affect men later in life if they are engaged in strenuous activity such as powerlifting.
Getting familiar with the look and feel of your genitals is really important for your health so when something is amiss, you notice it and can get it sorted ASAP. Get in the habit of regularly giving yourself a testicular self-examination (sometimes called a TSE). It’s a quick and simple check that’s easier after a warm bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.
Gently roll one testis between the thumb and fingers to feel for any lumps or swellings in or on the surface of the testis.
Repeat with the other testis.
Don’t worry if one testis is a little bigger or hangs lower than the other — that’s normal. The testes should feel firm and the surface should feel smooth.
Using the thumb and fingers, feel along the epididymis at the back of the testis and check for any swelling in this area. If there is any change to how the testes feel normally, see your doctor straight away.
The male testicles are not only the most important organ of the male reproductive system. The anatomical location of the testicles is due to the fact that the maturation of spermatozoa occurs at a temperature slightly below normal body temperature, so they are located in the skin-muscle formation - the scrotum. In addition, the testicles are permeated with a dense network of nerve fibers and blood vessels.
This organ is vulnerable to various factors of the external and internal environment: it is subject to injuries, infectious attacks, as well as vascular pathologies and tumor neoplasms.
Meanwhile, it is in the testicles that testosterone is produced - the main male sex hormone and spermatozoa necessary for the fertilization of the female egg. That is, damage to the testicles not only reduces the quality of life of a man, but can also lead to a complete loss of reproductive function.
Causes and symptoms
Causes of pain in the testicles can be very diverse, and each of them has its own symptoms. Here are just a few of the conditions that can lead to painful testicles:
1. Inflammation of the testicle (orchitis) or epididymis (epididymitis). In these cases the pain in the testicle is intense and constant. In addition, these diseases are usually accompanied by general malaise and fever up to 38-39 degrees Celsius. The scrotum on the side of the inflammation turns red, becomes enlarged, tense and painful on palpation. A rapidly onset and growing inflammation of the testicle or its epididymis requires emergency medical care, treatment and daily medical supervision. The sooner treatment is started for orchitis or epididymitis, the more likely it is to maintain their reproductive function. Late treatment increases the risk of surgery.
2. Varicocele - testicular varicose veins. It develops due to the peculiarities of the anatomical structure of the circulatory system and may be accompanied by aching pain in the lower abdomen and in the scrotum, or be asymptomatic. A varicocele can result in visual dilation of the testicular veins, a decrease in the size of the involved testicle, and a decrease in the ability to conceive.
3. Pathologies of the prostate gland : exacerbation of chronic prostatitis, adenoma (benign hyperplasia) or malignant tumor. An important symptom pointing to the prostate gland as the root of the problem is pain that radiates to the lower back, leg, lower abdomen or scrotum. The testicles themselves remain the same to the touch as they were, without pronounced changes, and the intensity of pain in them varies from discomfort to moderate pain.
4. Testicular torsion. It can be provoked by wearing tight clothing, sudden movements or overexertion of the press (for example, during exercise), and even awkward movements in sleep or a strong, hysterical cough. The symptoms of torsion are:
Acute pain in the scrotum
Testicle pull up
Nausea and vomiting
The color and shape of the scrotum may change
Increase in testicle size
This pathology is more typical for young people, but also occurs over the age of 18-20 years. In this case, immediate medical attention is required - it is best to call an ambulance. In the absence of medical attention within 3-4 hours after the onset of acute pain, testicular necrosis may begin - as a result, you risk losing this organ.
5. Unrealized sexual arousal. Sexual arousal is accompanied by an increase in blood flow in the genitals and the accumulation in them of the components that make up the sperm. Thus, the accumulated contents of the gonads with delayed or absent ejaculation often causes discomfort or aching pain in the testicles and lower abdomen.
6. Prolonged sexual abstinence. Testicular pain in an adult male may appear after a week of sexual abstinence.
7. Hydrocele (hydrocele) - accumulation of fluid between the membranes of the testis. The disease is more common in young men aged 20-30 years. This is due to impaired blood supply and lymph flow. One of the most common causes of this pathology is an inflammatory process that can develop under the influence of a viral, bacterial infection, trauma, or as a result of surgery. The main symptom of a hydrocele is an enlargement of one or both halves of the scrotum. At the same time, the testicle itself in the shells filled with liquid is not palpable.
8. Epididymal cyst or spermatic cord. The causes of the pathology are diverse - endocrine disorders, exposure to infection, trauma. With a small size, the cyst does not cause discomfort to a man and is usually found by chance, during a medical examination during palpation or ultrasound. But over time, it can progress, increasing in size, causing discomfort, which becomes the reason for going to the doctor.
9. Testicular cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from the tissues of the testicles. The risk group includes young people aged 20 to 40 years. The likelihood of the disease is higher in those men who in childhood suffered from cryptorchidism - an undescended testicle. Requires a specialized examination, is subject to radical treatment.
Benefits of treatment at the First Men's Clinic:
Highly specialized urological clinic.
Possibility of examination in one day (reception, tests, ultrasound)
Comfortable reception area.
Duration of reception - 40 minutes.
Analyzes can be taken at any laboratory in the city.
The reception includes: consultation, examination, drawing up an examination plan.
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Make an appointment with a doctor
Diagnostics and treatment
There are no two identical patients: the same disease can manifest itself in completely different ways depending on its form and stage, on the state of the patient's body and his age, on the presence of concomitant diseases and medications that a person takes, as well as on many others. factors. That is why the diagnosis and treatment of testicular pain is always individualized. First you need to assess the current state of health. At the initial consultation, the doctor conducts a conversation, which includes the collection of complaints and anamnesis, as well as an examination. Based on this, the examination program and the list of analyzes are determined. Depending on their results and the patient's complaints, the doctor draws up a treatment plan, as a result of which it is necessary to come for a second appointment to monitor the treatment result and, if necessary, make adjustments.
It may also turn out that urologists will not find any disease that could cause pain in the testicle. In this case, you will be referred to a neurologist and a chiropractor - the staff of the First Men's Clinic also has such specialists. The fact is that pain can be the result of violations in the muscular corset - we are talking primarily about the muscles of the back and pelvic floor. In addition, the causes may lie in damage to the nerves of the lumbar and sacral plexus or different parts of the spine - in this case, unilateral or bilateral spread of pain along the leg, buttock and lower back is characteristic, sometimes this is accompanied by loss of sensation in the toes, segments of the limb or a tingling sensation, goosebumps in the projection of the genitals. In this case, CT or MRI will help determine which nerve is involved in the pathological process.
The first men's clinic is characterized by a comprehensive approach to treatment, combining medication, surgery and physiotherapy.
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In preparing the article, the following materials were used:
Clinical uroandrology, edited by V. Mirone, translated from English by Chaly M.E., 2019year.
Clinical guidelines of the European Association of Urology. 2019
Urology: National Guide. Lopatkin N.A. (ed.) 2009
Andrology. Pharmacotherapy without mistakes. Guide for doctors. Kamalov A.A. 2017
National Guidelines for Urology Oncology Ed. IN AND. Chissova, B.Ya. Alekseeva, I. G. Rusakova, 2012
Author of the article: urologist, therapist Pyrov A.A.
What causes pain in the right testicle in men
No wonder they say that a blow to the balls is the most painful, because they are the most vulnerable spot in men. The right testicle can hurt in men, both in the elderly and in adolescence. The pain syndrome can be both aching and acute. Even if the pain subsides, its appearance always causes irritation, hysteria, fear and emotional instability, which are always accompanied by excessive sweating, a feeling of weakness, vomiting and nausea. Accordingly, any man must know what to do if the testicle hurts.
Remember, only a urologist-andrologist can accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment!
Right and left testicular functions
The right and left eggs in men have other names - testicles and testicles, which create a paired gonad - a gonad, which is located in the soft scrotum. It produces testosterone and sperm. In any of the eggs there are 200 lobules, separated by partitions, where the seminiferous tubules are located. In them, the maturation of spermatozoa occurs.
The spermatic cords are located in the upper part of the right and left eggs. They contain nerves, blood vessels and the vas deferens. From the side of the testicles are appendages. They transport the seminal fluid to the vas deferens and bring the spermatozoa to maturity.
Why it is important to see a urologist
In the event that after 7-8 hours after the onset of pain in the testicles it does not get better, the male representative should immediately contact a urologist to make sure that there are no pathologies or injuries. In severe cases, you should definitely call an ambulance.
Sign of possible diseases
Pain in the testicles is not an accurate diagnosis, it is only a symptom of a concomitant disease or injury. There are many reasons why testicles hurt in men, and each has its own character.
Pulling pain in the testicle, left or right, indicates an injury followed by a hematoma. A puncture wound and a rupture of the membranes are considered dangerous, as evidenced by severe pain and profuse bleeding.
The most dangerous symptom is torsion. If the patient is not provided timely assistance, then he may be left completely without one egg. When twisted, the spermatic cord, the vessels inside it, the nerves and the vas deferens are compressed, which leads to necrosis of the gland tissues. It can occur when the eggs are injured, sudden movements and tension in the abdominal muscles.
Cystitis or orchitis is possible with pain at the end of urination and burning sensation in the scrotum. The disease is caused by bacteria and viruses. If a man has suffered severe mental or physical stress, hypothermia or moves little, then the disease will not take long. If the right testicle hurts and the body temperature rises, it means that the pathological process has begun.
Pain in the testicle in men can be associated with inflammation of the appendages. The disease most often appears during an active sexual life. The main reason is the presence of a bacterial infection. The following factors contribute to the occurrence of epididymitis:
There is a disease of acute, recurrent and chronic nature.
In the event that the right egg hurts and it has increased in size, dropsy is present. In addition, the symptoms of the disease are: fever, lack of appetite, weakness. Provoke dropsy excessive exercise.
It manifests itself in the form of a pulling pain. There is a lump in the scrotum that is easy to feel. In a man, seminal fluid accumulates in the duct of the epididymis and a small cyst appears. It is removed only by surgery.
Other possible causes
Cause pain in the testicles in men causes of the following nature:
If a man feels pain that spreads throughout the scrotum, there is an inflammatory process in the kidneys.
Severe stabbing paroxysmal pain radiating to the lower back indicates urolithiasis.
If the scrotum hurts and its swelling is present, the man has an inguinal hernia.
In the presence of dull arching pain with radiating to the scrotum or leg, pubis - there is an inflammatory process, which in some cases requires immediate surgical intervention.
Congestive processes, if a man has abstained from sexual intercourse for a long time, lead to the fact that testicles hurt after sex.
If a testicle is pulled, aching pain in the testicles or other unpleasant symptoms have appeared, a man should not put off going to the doctor. In no case, you should not ask for advice from acquaintances, friends or the world wide web, what to do if the testicles hurt.