Testicular pain can be a very worrying occurrence for a man. Such pain can lead to anxiety about what the cause might be. Thus, it is a good idea to understand some basic things about the testicles and their development, as well as about what might be the cause of the pain.
Located in the abdomen before birth, the testicles migrate eventually into the scrotum. They remain connected to the abdomen by the spermatic cord. This cord contains blood vessels, nerves, lymphatic vessels and the vas deferens. On the upper outer back position of the testicles is a structure known as the epididymis. This structure stores and transports sperm, and is directly connected to the wall of the scrotum.
Pain that is caused by testicular torsion normally occurs suddenly, whereas epididymitis pain is normally a gradual onset. It is important to differentiate between the two. Testicular pain from any source might result in swelling, tenderness and redness of the scrotum and testicles. Nausea, vomiting and fever might also be experienced, while urination and discharge might lead to pain. Sexual intercourse and ejaculation can also result in pain.
Testicular pain can result from trauma. This often leads to extreme pain, and occurs as a result of a direct blow to the scrotum. This is usually a temporary condition, but may result in bruising or swelling and can in rare cases cause a more serious injury.
Testicular torsion is considered an emergency condition. Torsion describes an internal twisting of the testicles within the scrotum. Twisting can lead to interrupted blood flow. This condition can lead to the “death” of a testicle, and can occur at any age. It is most commonly seen in newborn babies and those aged 12 to 18. Sometimes, torsion occurs in those with an abnormality regarding the attachment of the testicle to the scrotum wall.
Torsion can also occur in the testicular and epididymal appendages. This is commonly seen in those between 7 and 14 years of age.
Epididymitis occurs generally as a result of infection. The condition refers to an inflammation of the epididymis. Generally, the condition occurs in men over 18, but is not limited to this age group. The most widely seen causes of the condition are sexually transmitted diseases. Sometimes this occurs due to prostate gland enlargement.
Some other causes of testicular pain include inguinal hernia, orchitis (testicular inflammation), testicular tumors, kidney stones and abdominal bleeding or infection.