Testicle pain is pain that happens in or around one or both testicles. Sometimes the pain starts somewhere else in the groin or stomach area and is felt in one or both testicles. This is called referred pain.
Many things can cause testicle pain. The testicles are very sensitive. Even a minor injury can cause them to hurt. Pain might come from within the testicle itself. Or it might arise from the coiled tube and supporting tissue behind the testicle, called the epididymis.
Sometimes, what seems to be testicle pain is caused by a problem that starts in the groin, stomach area or somewhere else. For example, kidney stones and some hernias can cause testicle pain. Other times, the cause of testicle pain can't be found. You might hear this called idiopathic testicular pain.
Some causes of testicle pain start within the pouch of skin that holds the testicles, called the scrotum. These causes include:
- Epididymitis (When the coiled tube at the back of the testicle becomes inflamed.)
- Hydrocele (Fluid buildup that causes swelling of the skin pouch that holds the testicles, called the scrotum.)
- Orchitis (A condition in which one or both testicles become inflamed.)
- Scrotal masses (Lumps in the scrotum that can be due to cancer or other conditions that are not cancer.)
- Spermatocele (A fluid-filled sac that can form near the top of a testicle.)
- Testicle injury or hard hit to the testicles.
- Testicular torsion (A twisted testicle that loses its blood supply.)
- Varicocele (Enlarged veins in the scrotum.)
Causes of testicle pain or pain in the testicle area that start outside of the scrotum include:
- Diabetic neuropathy (Nerve damage caused by diabetes.)
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura (A condition that causes certain small blood vessels to become inflamed and bleed.)
- Inguinal hernia (A condition in which tissue bulges through a weak spot in the muscles of the abdomen and can descend into the scrotum.)
- Kidney stones (Hard objects that form inside the kidneys and are made of chemicals in urine.)
- Mumps (An illness caused by a virus.)
- Prostatitis (Infection or inflammation of the prostate.)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) (An infection in any part of the urinary system.)
When to see a doctor
Sudden, serious testicle pain can be a symptom of a twisted testicle, which can quickly lose its blood supply. This condition is called testicular torsion. Treatment is needed right away to prevent loss of the testicle. Testicular torsion can happen at any age, but it is more common in teenagers.
Get medical care right away if you have:
- Sudden, serious testicle pain.
- Testicle pain along with nausea, fever, chills or blood in the urine.
Make an appointment with a health care professional if you have:
- Mild testicle pain that lasts longer than a few days.
- A lump or swelling in or around a testicle.
These steps might help ease mild testicle pain:
- Take a pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). You can do this unless your health care team has given you other instructions. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 3. But children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to a rare but serious condition called Reye's syndrome in such children. It can be life-threatening.
- Support the scrotum with an athletic supporter. Use a folded towel to support and elevate the scrotum when you're lying down. You also can apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel.
Last Updated Dec 7, 2023