Why Your Testicles Hurt: Surprising Reasons for Testicle Pain

Why Your Testicles Hurt: Surprising Reasons of Testicle Pain

The reasons why your testicles hurt can be more complex than getting kicked or hit between the legs. Of course, blunt trauma to your scrotum can result in excruciating testicle pain that can last a long time. However, there are a number of reasons for testicular pain and tenderness that could affect both testicles or just one of them.

Apart from being hit in your scrotum, what are other reason for having testicles that hurt? Some of the most common reasons why you could have sore testicles are an infection or inflammation. Usually, this will result in testicular pain until the infection has passed. Some more serious conditions that can result in feeling pain in your testicles are testicular torsion, an inguinal hernia, or enlarged veins in the scrotum.

If you find a painful lump in your right or left testicle, you shouldn’t automatically assume that it is testicular cancer. Sometimes, a benign scrotal mass can develop and can cause your testes to hurt. Of course, you should always have a qualified doctor check out a lump in your scrotum whether it is sore or not.

In this article, you will find out the most common reasons why your testicles hurt. In some cases, you will learn about natural remedies to relieve discomfort in your scrotum and resolve underlying conditions that lead to testicular pain.

Other Symptoms When Your Testicles Hurt

When finding out the cause why your testicles hurt, doctors will usually want to know about associated symptoms with testicular pain.

Testicular pain is pain that is felt anywhere in the scrotum or testicles. According to Dr. Steven Doerr on eMedicineHealth, discomfort and swelling in the scrotum could indicate a serious condition like testicular torsion. Usually, an infection will cause your testicles to feel tender and you may notice redness on your scrotum.1

Other conditions like a urinary tract infection or kidney stones can also make your testicles hurt. These medical conditions will often result in a fever, nausea, and an itchy penis and burning sensation when you pee.

Reasons for Testicles that Hurt

Let’s look in more detail now at the common reasons for having testicles that hurt. We will also examine some of the serious causes of painful testicles.

Trauma to your testicles

The most common reason for testicles being very sore and painful is suffering any kind of trauma to your testes.

Dr. William Shiel on MedicineNet says that getting hit between the legs can cause agonizing testicular pain. Along with the pain, you might notice some swelling and even bruising. In case of a severe blow to your testicles, you might have nausea and even vomit.2

According to Dr. Ryan Terlecki on Medscape, the painful trauma to your testicles could also cause a hematocele to form in which there is a collection of blood around the testicle that could rupture. Doctors will usually carry out an exam to determine the extent of the scrotal injury that causes sore testicles with a lump.3

Testicular torsion causes painful testicles

If just your right testicle hurts or only your left testicle is sore, you could have a testicular torsion

A testicular torsion results in sudden intense pain in your scrotum and requires surgery to resolve the pain.

According to the journal American Family Physician, a testicular torsion happens when the spermatic cord in your scrotum twists and cuts off blood supply to the testicle. The most common symptoms of a testicular torsion are severe testicular pain along with nausea and vomiting.4

It is important to get emergency care if you have symptoms of a testicular torsion. If the condition isn’t resolved quickly, permanent damage to your scrotum can occur.

Mumps can make testicles hurt

It may surprise many men, but mumps can be a reason for painful testicles and causes a condition called mumps orchitis.

Mumps is usually associated with children; however, many reports say that mumps in adults is becoming more frequent. The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reported that in the United Kingdom 15% of all cases of mumps are in people aged over 15. Mumps orchitis affects men and causes pain in the testicular glands.5

The mumps viral infection that can make your testicles hurt will also cause signs of testicular inflammation. In the majority of cases, mumps just causes pain in one testicle. Complications of mumps orchitis are a low sperm count and increased risk of infertility.

The Journal of Urology reports that doctors usually recommend plenty of bed rest and placing cold packs on the scrotum to relieve the pain.6


Inflammation of your prostate can cause tenderness in your testicles and usually affects men aged between 30 and 50.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that prostatitis can be the reason for pelvic pain in men. The bacterial infection in your prostate can cause severe pain in your testicles, make your penis sore, and cause lower back pain. Along with the testicle pain, you might have trouble peeing or find that you have to use the bathroom frequently during the night.7

According to the journal Reviews in Urology, prostatitis can be a reason why your testicles hurt after ejaculating.8

Your doctor may take a urine test to check for signs of a bacteria in your urine.

Kidney stones and painful testicles

If just your right testicle hurts or just your left testicle is painful and you also have flank pain, it could be a sign that you have kidney stones.

Kidney stones can cause testicular pain in one testicle if the stone obstructs part of your urinary system. According to the book Clinical Methods in the chapter “Flank Pain,” stones in your kidney will often start off in your flank then move down to the testicle. You may also feel that the skin of your scrotum is very tender to touch. According to the type of obstruction, the pain in your testicle will be mild to severe.9

Drinking apple cider vinegar is a way to treat kidney stones naturally. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to dissolve kidney stones and help get rid of these mineral buildups in your urinary system. To prevent problems with your kidneys, you should avoid common habits that damage your kidneys.

Inguinal hernia and sore scrotum

An inguinal hernia may be the reason why your testicles are sore, especially if you have a bulge in your pubic area and general discomfort in your groin.

An inguinal hernia occurs when part of your intestines pushes through a weak part in your abdominal muscles. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that sometimes the inguinal hernia causes pain and swelling around the testicles. Other signs of a hernia in your pelvic area are aching around the bulge and weakness in your groin.10

Doctors recommend using an ice pack to relieve the abdominal and scrotal pain. In most cases, surgery is required to completely resolve a hernia.

Scrotal infection

An infection in your scrotum could make your testicles hurt and cause you to have a fever.

Epididymitis is a scrotal infection that makes your testes sore and painful. The journal Reviews in Urology reported that epididymitis is a common reason for testicular pain that can affect one or both testicles. The review found that epididymitis can become a chronic condition resulting in sore testicles and scrotum that lasts for at least 3 months or more.11

According to Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on eMedicineHealth, the most common cause of a scrotal infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STDs). Some STDs that can cause pain in the testicles and scrotum are chlamydia and gonorrhea.12

Inflammation of the testicles

Bacteria and viruses can cause painful inflammation of the testicles that can be accompanied by fever, nausea, and vomiting.

According to Dr. David Derrer on WebMD, testicular inflammation that makes testicles hurt is usually the result of an infection. This can be caused by bacteria in the prostate, epididymis, or scrotum itself. This can cause inflammation and pain in just one testicle or both at the same time. Other symptoms include blood in your urine or semen, swelling of your testicles, or pain with intercourse.13

Urinary tract infection and painful testicles

If you have a lot of pain in your penis or testicles along with a burning sensation when you pee, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) that cause testicular pain are more common in men over 50. According to Dr. John Brusch on Medscape, older males are more prone to infections of their urinary tract. This can cause scrotal tenderness or scrotal masses, prostate pain, and flank pain.14

The Canadian Urological Association Journal reported that urinary tract infections associated with prostatitis cause testicle pain in over 60% of all cases. Other symptoms of a UTI in men are pain when ejaculating and penial pain.15

There are many natural ways to treat the first signs of a urinary tract infection. For example, drinking baking soda water helps to neutralize the acid in your urinary tract. You should also increase your fluid intake in general to help flush out toxins from your bladder.

Another way to reduce your risk of a urinary tract infection is to drink apple cider vinegar regularly. Apple cider vinegar is good for UTIs because of its levels of acetic acid. In fact, the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine reported that acetic acid can help to get rid of bacteria in the urinary tract. Apple cider vinegar helped to reduce bacteria in people who were fitted with a catheter.16 Medscape says that catheters are a major reason for UTIs in men over 50 years old.14

Enlarged veins in the scrotum

One condition that could be making your left testicle hurt and look swollen is if you have enlarged veins in your scrotum.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that enlarged veins in your scrotum creates a varicocele. A varicocele is like having varicose veins in your scrotum and looks like a “bag of worms.” Varicoceles can cause swelling in one of your testicles and it is usually your left testicle that is affected. You may also have dull to sharp aching pains in your scrotum.15

Doctors advise that if you notice swelling in one or both of your testicles along with pain and discomfort, you should seek professional medical advice.

Scrotal mass

A painful lump on a swollen testicle could be an indicator of a scrotal mass in the bag of skin behind the penis.

There can be many reasons for an unusual lump that is painful around your testicles. According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, scrotal masses could be a buildup of fluids, tissue growth, or hardening of the contents of the scrotum. Some of the symptoms of a scrotal mass are painful swollen testicles, aching pain in the scrotum, redness on the scrotal skin, or pain that radiates to the abdomen.18

Because there is the chance that any unusual lump in your scrotum could be cancerous, you should visit your doctor for a checkup.

Vasectomy can cause testicles to hurt

You may find that your testicles hurt for months for even years after you have had a vasectomy.

Usually, any testicle pain and pain in your pelvic area relating to post-vasectomy complications resolve within 4 weeks. However, the Asian Journal of Andrology reported that intermittent testicular pain can last for 3 months or longer in some cases. Doctors use a variety of methods to stop the testicles hurting after a vasectomy that include painkillers and other pharmaceuticals to manage the pain in the scrotum.19

Not ejaculating can cause testicular pain

Another reason why your testicles may hurt sometimes is if you have had an erection without ejaculating.

The journal Pediatrics reported that sexual arousal without ejaculation can lead to a buildup of semen in the testicles. If the fluid in the testicles is not released, the testicles can become very painful for a few hours or until the semen is ejaculated.20

Testicular cancer

In rare cases, testicular cancer can be a reason why you have pain or discomfort one testicle or scrotum.

Dr. Laura Martin on WebMD explains that you should be aware of any changes to the shape or size of your testicles. The first signs of testicular cancer can be a painless lump in a testicle. Other signs of cancer in the testicles are testicular pain, fluid that fills the scrotum, and/or a scrotal mass.21

While testicular cancer is common in American males between the ages of 15 and 35, the good news are that testicular cancer is highly treatable, but self-examinations can help identify the cancer early, when the chance for successful treatment is highest.


A simple three-minute self-examination once a month is all you need for early detection of testicular cancer.

The best time to do the self-examination is during or after a warm bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed so it’s easier for you to find anything unusual. If you regularly perform this examination, you will become more familiar with your testicles and be aware of any unusual changes.

Check one testicle at a time. Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands (place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top) and roll it gently between your fingers.

Look and feel for any hard lumps or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicles (it’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other and for one to hang lower than the other).

You can also stand in front of a mirror and look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum or other unusual change.

When to See a Doctor if Your Testicles Hurt

Usually, if your testicles hurt from time to time and you have no other symptoms, there is nothing to worry about.

Signs that something is wrong are if your testicles suddenly start hurting bad and you have other symptoms. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that you should see a doctor if your testicles hurt in the following circumstances:22

  • You experience sudden, severe testicle pain. This can quickly turn into a medical emergency.
  • You also have nausea, fever, or blood in your urine.
  • Mild pain in your testicles that doesn’t go away after a few days.
  • You notice a lump in your testicles that may or may not be painful.

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Scientific Research Referenced in this Article

  1. eMedicineHealth. Testicular pain.
  2. MedicineNet. Testicular disorders.
  3. Medscape. Testicular trauma.
  4. Am Fam Physician.2013 Dec 15;88(12):835-40.
  5. J R Soc Med. 2006 Nov; 99(11): 573–575.
  6. J Urol.1997 Dec;158(6):2158-61.
  7. NHS. Prostatitis.
  8. Rev Urol. 2002 Spring; 4(2): 95–96.
  9. NCBI. Clinical Methods – Flank Pain.
  10. MayoClinic. Inguinal
  11. Rev Urol. 2003 Fall; 5(4): 209–215.
  12. eMedicineHealth. Testicle infection (epididymitis).
  13. WebMD. Inflammation of the testicle.
  14. Medscape. Urinary tract infection (UTI) in males.
  15. Can Urol Assoc J. 2012 Oct; 6(5 Suppl 2): S133–S135.
  16. J Spinal Cord Med. 2006; 29(3): 217–226.
  17. MayoClinic. Varicocele.
  18. MayoClinic. Scrotal masses.
  19. Asian J Androl. 2016 May-Jun; 18(3): 332–337.
  20. 2000 Oct;106(4):843.
  21. WebMD. Understanding testicular cancer.
  22. MayoClinic. Testicle pain.

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