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.
Apart from minor injury, common reasons for testicle pain are:
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.
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.
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.
To relieve a sore testicle, try:
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.