Testicle pain

Testicle pain is discomfort in or around your testicles. The pain, which can affect men at any age, can vary from mild to severe. The pain can affect one testicle or both and pain can also spread to your lower abdomen (stomach).

By Wallace Health I Medically reviewed by Adrian Roberts.
Page last reviewed: October 2018 I Next review due: October 2023


The testicles are very sensitive and easily injured - even a minor knock can cause excruciating pain.

A sore testicle can be a symptom of several health conditions. The pain may be accompanied by a swollen, enlarged testicle or a lump on your testicle.

If caused by an injury, you should be able to relieve testicle pain at home. Sudden and severe (acute) testicle pain or long-term (chronic) testicle pain should be checked out by your GP. In almost all cases, testicle pain can be successfully treated.

Causes of testicle pain

Apart from minor injury, common reasons for testicle pain are:

  • Epididymo-orchitis – painful inflammation of the testicle and epididymis (the tube that sperm passes through after production in the testes), which can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), urinary tract infection (UTI), mumps or sometimes the cause is unknown
  • Epididymal cysts – a small swelling in the epididymis, which you’re most likely to develop in mid-life
  • Inguinal hernia – a painful swelling in the groin area
  • Varicoceles – enlarged veins in the scrotum, which can cause mild testicle pain
  • Hydrocele – a build-up of fluid inside the scrotum, the loose pocket of skin surrounding your testicles, which can sometimes be painful and is most common in men over the age of 40
  • Kidney stones – small, hard lumps of crystallised urine which can cause a sore testicle

If you’re experiencing agonising testicle pain, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain and your scrotum’s swollen and tender, call 999 immediately. You may have a testicular torsion (twisted testicle); a very serious condition that’s most common in young males aged 10-20.

Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about symptoms

You can book an appointment with a Spire private GP today.

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Conditions related to testicle pain

Testicular cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer which is most likely to affect younger men, under the age of 50. Swelling or a lump on a testicle are common symptoms of testicular cancer, but other symptoms can include a dull ache or pain in the testicles or scrotum and a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.

If you spot any change in the look or feel of your testicles, contact your GP immediately.

Getting a diagnosis for testicle pain

If you have a very painful testicle or you’ve had a sore testicle for some time, see your GP.

Your GP will examine your testicles. If you have an enlarged testicle, they may shine a light onto your scrotum to check for excess fluid. If your GP suspects a hernia is causing your testicle pain, they may ask you to cough. Your GP may refer you for other investigations, such as:

Following diagnosis, your GP may refer you to a consultant, such as a urologist, or to a genito-urinary medicine clinic.

Treatments for testicle pain

To relieve a sore testicle, try:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Wearing underpants which support your scrotum
  • Applying ice to the affected area

The treatment your GP or consultant recommends will depend on the cause of your testicle pain. In some cases, especially if your pain is the result of an injury, treatment may not be required.

If you have a painful varicocele or epididymal cyst or a large hydrocele, your doctor may suggest surgery. If an infection is causing your sore testicle, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.