Have you been experiencing achy balls and wondering what’s behind it? Maybe you’re having an intense or sharp pain and wondering if you should see a doctor or head to the hospital.
Testicle pain is quite common but a lot of guys suffer in silence, hoping it will go away, while others might see a doctor but not discuss it with anybody else. It’s awkward to bring up aching balls in a conversation with your mates or even with your partner.
It’s high time the problem was tackled once and for all, so if you’re having pain in your plums, read on to find out more about this common yet seldom-discussed complaint. Common testicle pain causes include:
- Testicular trauma
- Testicular torsion
- Kidney stones
- Testicular tumour
- Inguinal hernia
Let’s take a closer look at each of those:
All guys have had pain in their balls at some point when they were hit, kicked or crushed. It’s not something you forget in a hurry!
The third leading cause of very painful pain in the balls is testicular trauma. How painful and severe it is depends on the injury impact as well as the organs affected in the scrotum sack.
Parts of the body around the genital area which can also be affected include the following:
- Spermatic cord
- Vas deferens
- Lymphatic vessels
- Testicular appendage
If any of those are involved in the injury, it increases the severity of the situation.
Testicle injuries include:
- Testicular torsion (twisted testicle caused by injury)
- Testicular contortion (a blunt injury causing bleeding and bruising)
- Testicular rupture (torn protective layers over one or both gonads)
- Testicular dislocation (kicking the balls out of the ballbag)
It’s a good idea to see a doctor after any kind of trauma to the nuts. You should be especially concerned if there is swelling which seems to be getting worse, agonising pain when doing basic tasks or persistent pain after the trauma.
See a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. You might want to shave the area first so your doctor can get a better look at your balls without the hair being in the way.
This unpleasant injury can happen if the ball twists around, making the spermatic cord twist. Testicular torsion will limit or even completely stop blood flow to the scrotum. And yes, it’s just as agonising as it sounds!
Although this is most common in guys between 12 and 25, it can happen to any age group without any particular cause. If you have the following, you might have testicular torsion:
- Underlying injury to your scrotum from trauma
- Balls that are bigger than they usually
- Loose-hanging balls (also known as bell-clapper deformity)
Besides the moderate to severe pain, you might also experience these symptoms:
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Swollen nuts
- One ball higher than the other
- Needing to pee often
- Nausea and vomiting
Should You Be Worried?
As soon as you feel an agonising pain in your nutsack, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you wait 6 hours or more for surgery, you might lose a ball. There might be complete blood supply stoppage at your spermatic cord, which can lead to cell death in the nutsack.
These start off as salts and minerals in the kidney and will stick together, resulting in the formation of kidney stones. They can be tiny or grow to the size of a golf ball.
The smaller kind can pass unnoticed when you pee but others can grow until you have painful balls.
These are some risk factors to help you determine whether your bollock pain could be down to kidney stones:
- Obesity (metabolic imbalances result in more minerals in your body)
- Diet (foods high in protein, sugar and sodium)
- Frequent bacterial infections in the urinary tract (the bacteria can produce enzymes reducing the acidity in urine and making it easier for crystals to form)
- Not drinking enough water (salts and minerals won’t be diluted enough)
If you have a large enough kidney stone and it moves and makes contact with the ureter or kidney walls, you will definitely feel it!
Although it might feel like the pain is coming from your crown jewels, it’s actually referred pain from elsewhere in the urinary system because of shared spinal nerves. A kidney stone that causes pain in the knackers might cause the following symptoms:
- Having to pee more often
- A small amount of blood in your pee
- Cramping pain in the groin radiating to the back
- Discomfort or pain in the head of the penis
- A feeling of burning when peeing
Should You Be Worried?
If you have agonising pain when you urinate or have any of the above symptoms, it’s time to see your GP.
There are several options to treat kidney stones, depending on their size, ranging from non-invasive treatment for very small crystals to surgery for large ones.
Around one in every 250 males will develop cancer in the testes at some point. When detected early, there is a 96-99% survival rate. Males between 15 and 35 years of age are the most commonly affected, while 8% occurs in guys over 55 and 6% occurs in children.
One warning sign of a testicular tumour or testicular cancer is pain in the nuts. If you have any of the following symptoms (before the pain started) you could have a tumour:
- A painless, slow-growing mass in the nuts
- Extra-thick or swollen balls
- Your balls changing slowly in shape or size
- A heavy feeling in the scrotum
It can be hard to be certain about a different feeling or appearance in your nutsack, especially when the above changes can happen gradually. It’s always a good idea to check your balls frequently.
This video shows you how to do a testicle inspection:
Should You Be Worried?
If you can feel a hard or firm mass in your balls, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You might find your ball is beside the mass or it might be hard to differentiate between the two.
Even if you don’t have any pain there, it’s best to see a doctor to rule out a tumour with blood tests and imaging.
This type of hernia can happen when the abdominal contents poke through a weak part of the abdominal muscles.
Fatty tissue and the small intestine go into the scrotal sac and this causes localised pain which feels like a dull ache when you change position, walk or work out.
The ideal time to check for any kind of abnormalities is when you’re trimming or shaving your balls. Because you’ll have extra weight in your boys, they will look swollen or bigger than usual.
The size of the hernia determines when the swelling and/or pain starts. As you’d expect, the more the contents of the abdomen bulge into the testicles, the worse it will hurt.
Treatment typically involves pushing the contents of the abdomen back where they belong by manipulating the scrotal area. If it protrudes further back though, you might need an operation.
Should You Be Worried?
If you’re experiencing pain and/or swelling, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. If it’s really painful, that might mean the contents of the abdomen are being squeezed and strangled, which can interrupt blood flow to the gonads. In such a case, you will need surgery immediately to save your balls!
As we all know, pain in the balls can be miserable and any kind of pain in the area can change how they function.
Inspect your gonads often to see if there are any abnormalities and, if so, schedule a visit with your doctor before you experience pain or a worsening of the condition.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially where your precious crown jewels are concerned!