Pain and swelling in the testicles can occur from a variety of causes, from viral or bacterial infection to trauma. The cause is important because the treatment varies depending on it. Testicular pain usually comes in the form of testicular torsion due to trauma, viral orchitis infection, bacterial epididymitis infection, or orchiepididimitis. It is likely not cancer, as testicular cancer is typically painless. When pain occurs, there are some things you can do to treat it.
Method 1 of 3: Finding Relief Fast
Step 1. Take over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin can be used to relieve pain and swelling. All of these drugs work by inhibiting the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which cause inflammation. The recommended dose for each of these drugs is as follows:
- Ibuprofen (or similar generic medicine): 200 to 400 mg tablets, together or immediately after eating, up to three times a day.
- Aspirin: 300 mg tablets up to four times a day.
- Paracetamol: 500 mg tablets up to three times a day.
- Do not mix medications. Overdose can lead to serious side effects.
Step 2. Lie on your back
Until professional medical assistance is obtained, lying on your stomach and supporting your testicles in a comfortable way can help alleviate physical stress and discomfort.
You can also improve your scrotal support by using a testicle protector for athletes. This can help to alleviate testicular pain by protecting the area from the friction of contact between the legs, painful movement of the scrotum, and external contact that can lead to irritation
Step 3. Apply an ice pack to the area
If there is a sudden onset of swelling and pain, gently apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to the testicles to help relieve the pain and swelling.
- Applying an ice pack is an important step, as if the cause of swelling is severe, ice can increase the amount of time the testicles can survive without a blood supply.
- Wrap the ice pack or bag of vegetables in a dry cloth before applying to protect against freezing.
Step 4. Rest and avoid strenuous activities
Allow time for the testicles to naturally improve by avoiding activities that could aggravate the pain and swelling. Avoid lifting heavy weights, running, and other strenuous exercise.
If complete rest is not possible, then wearing supportive or supportive clothing may be beneficial
Method 2 of 3: Looking for Symptoms
Step 1. Recognize the risk factors
There are some common risk factors for bacteria and viral infections that cause testicular pain. These risk factors include:
- Sexual activity;
- Strenuous physical activity, such as riding a bicycle or motorbike frequently;
- Being seated for a long time, such as traveling frequently or by truck;
- History of prostate or urinary tract infection;
- Benign Enlarged Prostate or Prostate Surgery, Typical in Older Men;
- Anatomical defects such as a posterior urethral meatus that occur in prepubertal boys;
Step 2. Check for trauma
Testicular pain from trauma, called testicular torsion, includes pain in the testicles and the epididymis (the tube that runs under the testicles). To assess this, a thorough physical examination needs to be performed. If you have ever experienced any testicular trauma, especially testicular torsion caused by a distortion of the testicles, get tested because it is a testicular problem that can be serious.
- The doctor can check your cremasteric reflex, which will be absent in cases of trauma. This test is performed by passing a reflex hammer along the inner thigh, which will cause the testicle to lift protectively into the scrotum if it is healthy.
- Testicular torsion usually presents as an abrupt pain.
Step 3. Diagnose pain due to infection
Age plays an important factor in determining infection. Infectious causes of testicular pain include bacterial infection of the testicles and epididymis. This is due to bacteria that ascend to the rectum, usually in men older than 35 and younger than 14 years. For young men aged 15 to 35, the most common reason for testicular infections is sexually transmitted bacteria such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. You will experience pain when the area is touched during the exam. The doctor may check to see if elevating your testicles will relieve your pain, which is referred to as the Prehn's sign.
- Treating the infection will help relieve pain and fight any worsening of the infection and potential sepsis.
- The cremasteric reflex will still occur with pain due to infections.
Step 4. Look for orchitis signs
Orchitis occurs due to a viral infection, which causes pain and swelling in the testicle suddenly. There is sharp pain and swelling at the site. Orchitis occurs due to mumps orchitis, a viral infection seen most often in people who have not been vaccinated against mumps in infancy, around 11 months of age. Approximately 20-30% of children with mumps will get mumps orchitis. Usually, the problem starts within a week of the onset of mumps, which is swelling of the parotid glands under the jaw.
There is no treatment for viral orchitis and it can cause infertility. The only way to help is with supportive care like pain medications and ice packs
Step 5. Check if you have sexually transmitted infections (STDs)
For STDs, the symptoms will likely be pain in the testicles, which may be accompanied by burning during urination. The onset of symptoms is gradual and may take weeks for them to appear. Testicular pain can also be associated with nausea and vomiting, as well as abdominal pain. You will have a normal cremasteric reflex.
- An ultrasound will show increased vascularity, pockets of infection or abscess formations.
- You may also suffer from other symptoms such as discharge or blood in your urine.
Step 6. Look for signs of orchiepididymitis
The pain caused by this bacterial infection will develop quickly after a day or so. Your epididymis and testicles will quickly swell and will be enlarged, red and tender. It will also cause a lot of pain.
You may also have a different infection, such as a urinary tract infection or a urethral infection
Step 7. Do lab tests
Tests are helpful in detecting infection. Your doctor may test your urine for bacteria such as E coli. If you are a sexually active young person, your doctor may perform a urine multiple polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR) test, which will show you if you have chlamydia or gonorrhea.
An ultrasound is routinely performed for all scrotal pain and swelling, thus checking for more complicated problems
Method 3 of 3: Treating Ongoing Pain
Step 1. Take care of bacterial infections
Men of any age can suffer from infections that cause testicular pain, which can be caused by E. Coli or other bacteria. For older men, benign enlarged prostates can play an important role in the development of these infections. The bacteria build up when an enlarged prostate prevents the bladder from draining properly. Because of this, E.coli or other gastrointestinal bacteria can come back and cause an infection.
- Medical treatment for this includes Bactrim DS or a quinolone antibiotic. The course of treatment is about ten days, unless the prostate is involved, which may take longer to treat.
- Prehn's sign will often alleviate symptoms. Ice packs are also useful.
- You can reduce the pain with Tylenol, Motrin or even stronger medication for the first few days.
Step 2. Treat sexually transmitted infections
The treatment for STDs is antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe Rocephin followed by a course of zithromax or doxycycline. Pain improvement should start within 24 to 48 hours. Ice packs, like testicular elevation, can bring relief while you wait for the antibiotics to take effect. You can also take pain medication to help, especially during the first few days.
Step 3. Deal with testicular trauma
Testicular trauma is caused by a twisted testicle that is not getting enough blood. This usually occurs after a few different types of trauma, such as hitting the groin on a bicycle frame. Extreme testicular trauma can twist the spermatic cord, which requires surgical intervention. This condition affects 3.8% of every 100,000 men under 18 each year.
- Early recognition of an elevated testis and no cremasteric reflex is sufficient to justify surgical exploration. This can help prevent an orchiectomy, which is the surgical removal of the testicle.
- Even minor trauma can cause swelling, tenderness, high fevers, and frequent, urgent need to urinate.
- The window between injury and surgery is approximately four to eight hours. This will prevent much damage to the spermatic cord, which has to be untwisted quickly to avoid the need for removal. Despite this rush to take care of the testicle, average orchiectomy rates are 42%. Delay in diagnosis can result in orchiectomy and possibly infertility.