Men become very concerned and anxious when they feel pain in their testicles. To better understand the various causes of this symptom, an understanding of basic anatomy and the development of testicles is necessary.

Before birth, testicles are located in the abdomen (belly). Eventually the testicles migrate down through the abdomen into the scrotum (the outside pouch that contains the testicles). But they remain connected to the abdomen by the spermatic cord, which contains many blood vessels and nerves.

On the upper, outer, back position of the testicle lies a connected but separate structure called the epididymis, which stores sperm. Normally, the epididymis has a direct connection to the wall of the scrotum. This connection prevents the testicle, which basically hangs on the spermatic cord, from twisting.

Testicular Pain Causes

Testicular pain has many causes, some of which are emergencies that require immediate medical attention.

Trauma: Trauma to the testicles often produces extreme pain. A direct blow to the scrotum, while very painful, usually causes only temporary pain.

It may result in a bruise.

Occasionally, trauma may cause a more significant injury that often requires emergency surgery, such as the following:

A hematocele - a collection of blood that surrounds the testicle

Rupture of the testicle

Testicular Pain Symptoms

With testicular pain, the doctor's first goal is to determine whether or not the pain is caused by testicular torsion, because this is a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery. Though the following information may be used to help differentiate the symptoms of testicular torsion and epididymitis, the patient must not delay seeking medical evaluation.

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Sperm Motility

Pain from testicular torsion usually comes on suddenly.

Pain from epididymitis usually sets in gradually. Early on, pain due to epididymitis is often just in the area of the epididymis itself.

With testicular pain from any source, the patient may experience any of the following symptoms:

o Swelling and redness of the testicles and scrotum

o Nausea and/or vomiting

o Fever

o Painful urination or penile discharge

o Pain with intercourse, pain with ejaculation, blood in the semen or urine

Testicular Pain Treatment

In general, you should seek medical care immediately if you experience testicular pain, especially if it is sudden in onset. Pain medicines such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help temporarily.

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