While sore balls are a common experience and usually no cause for concern, it’s important to familiarise yourself with symptoms in case it’s a sign of something serious. So why do my balls hurt?
Medically reviewed by Endo-Urologist Malek Meskawi on 08/08/2022
The testicles are a very sensitive part of your body, and a minor injury to this area can cause pain. You may experience pain within the testicle itself, or around the supporting tissues that anchor the testicle, the epididymis. Testicular pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term); dull or sharp; and felt constantly or intermittently.
It’s important to regularly check your testicles and speak to your doctor if you notice any pain.
Common causes of testicle pain include:
- A trauma or injury to your testes;
- An infection or swelling of your sperm ducts (epididymitis) or your testes (orchitis);
- A twisting of your testes and its support structures, restricting blood flow to them (testicular torsion). This is an urgent condition that can be resolved through surgery, if carried out within six hours.
Mild pain may be caused by fluid collection in the scrotum, such as:
- Enlarged veins in the scrotum (varicocele);
- A cyst in the epididymis that often contains dead sperm cells (spermatocele);
- Fluid surrounding your teste (hydrocele);
- A hernia or kidney stone may also cause pain in your testes.
Testicular cancer is most commonly painless. But any testicle lump should be checked out by your doctor, whether or not there is pain.
When to visit the doctor for testicle pain
If your testicular pain is sudden and severe, it requires urgent medical attention, as in the case of a testicular torsion or severe injury.
Otherwise, speak to your GP or go to a walk-in clinic if your testicle pain lasts longer than a few days, if there is a lump or swelling, if you have a fever or if your scrotum is red, warm to touch, or tender.
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