By now, men are all too familiar with unpleasant pain to the boys below the belt. Whether it is from a sports injury, an accidental nut shot when playing with one’s nephew, or even the dreaded blue balls - yes, that is a real thing - testicular pain is no fun. What happens when the boys are aching and there is no known cause for it? Learn about some common causes for testicular pain that don’t include stepping on a rake, or catching a soccer ball to the groin when not wearing a cup, and tips for maintaining testicle and penis health.
Tender Testicles: Common Causes for Pain
The penis and testicles are by far the most sensitive area on a man’s body. This sensitivity can work to a man’s advantage - as in the case of sex - or completely debilitate him - as in the case of a sudden injury. Here are a couple of reasons ones berries might burn, ache, or otherwise hurt.
About as unpleasant as it sounds, testicular torsion occurs when one of the testicles becomes twisted, or rotated within the scrotal sac. Ouch. This is a dangerous condition as the spermatic cord - that supplies blood to the testicle - twists and can even cut off the blood supply to the testicle. In some cases, the testicle untwists on its own, but in other cases surgery may be needed to correct the problem. A man suffering from the condition will experience sudden, severe pain in the testicle region and possibly a low-grade fever. The condition requires immediate treatment as a loss of blood from the area for too long can cause sterility or even loss of the testicle. This condition most commonly occurs in men who have a congenital malformation called bell-clapper deformity, in which the testis freely moves within the scrotum making it more likely to become twisted. The only preventative measure is to have surgery to secure the testicles in the scrotal sac to prevent rotation.
Perhaps the most common reason for testicular pain, epididymitis is a condition in which pain occurs in the back of the testicle (or epididymis) where the sperm is stored; the condition can be acute or chronic. In the case of sudden onset or acute pain, the testicles may be red, swollen, and warm to the touch. Whereas in chronic epididymitis -- that which lasts for more than six weeks - it is possible for the only symptom to be pain. The ball sac may swell or harden during an episode and the pain can last from an hour or less to several days. In some cases, the pain may also travel up to the abdomen as the nerve pathways are nearby. Epididymitis may be mistaken for a hernia, but an ultrasound of the abdomen and scrotal sac will help the doctor diagnose the condition properly.
A hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through a weak area of the abdominal muscles. The hernia appears as a bulge in the lower abdomen or groin area, it is easier to see when the man is standing up or coughing - hence the turn the head and cough test that all men are familiar with. Some hernias require surgery, though the treatment outcomes depend on the severity of the hernia. It is important to seek immediate medical attention, as even minor hernias can progress to the point of needing surgery. If left untreated, hernias can be life threatening.
Maintaining Sexual Health
When it comes to maintaining the health of the penis and testicles there are a few steps a man can take to ensure his continued health.
- Be careful when lifting heavy objects or bodybuilding, as excessive strain is one cause for an inguinal hernia.
- Maintain a healthy weight - particularly when it comes to carrying excess weight around the mid-section - being overweight is another risk factor for a hernia.
- When in doubt, get checked out. Testicular pain - without an obvious incident to cause the pain - is cause enough to make a quick trip to the doctor.
- Maintain excellent hygiene as bacterial infections cause some cases of acute epididymitis.
- Always use protection; STI’s such as Chlamydia can also lead to epididymitis.
- Use a high-quality penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) on the penis every day. A penis oil can help eliminate bacteria while moisturizing the skin, it can also improve the health and sensitivity of the penis making it an excellent addition to the penis care routine.