The testicles (testes, balls) are the oval-shaped organs that hang behind the penis. They are sex organs, in other words, responsible for producing hormones that help the secondary sexual characters develop and also in a person achieving reproductive maturity.
The main job of the testicles is to produce testosterone and make and store sperm. The testicles are extremely sensitive though and can often be affected even through a small underlying problem. The pain itself may be due to a direct testicular issue, a secondary symptom of a systematic disease or referred pain.
The most common causes of testicular pain
• Nerve Damage. Uncontrolled Diabetes can destroy nerve endings in many parts of the body and the testicles may be affected as well.
• Fluid build-up around the testicles, also called as hydrocele.
• Kidney stones
• Injury to the testicles
• Testicular cancer
• Testicular torsion
• Varicocele. This is a condition in which the vein of the scrotum becomes enlarged.
Having testicles that vary in size is perfectly normal and not a cause for alarm.
Sudden And Severe Pain In The Testicles
If there is sudden severe pain and discomfort in the testicles, then it should be treated as a medical emergency and looked into immediately. Testicular torsion, in particular, is a condition where the testicles can get twisted and the blood supply to the organ can get cut off. It can happen in males of any age, although is more common in children and teenagers.
Dull Pain In The Testicles
If the pain in the testicles is mild to moderate in severity and has been around for longer than a couple of days then it too needs to be looked at by the doctor. The same applies to the pain has subsided but some lumps are now present on the testicles.
The doctor will clinically examine the testicles, check their consistency and may even order CT scans before the diagnosis is made.
In most cases, the culprit of pain is a small infection or inflammation. This is treated with the help of over the counter pain medication and some instructions to not indulge in physical exertion until the pain has subsided. Any future athletic activity should be undertaken using a supporter/jock strap.
In cases where other more severe conditions are found to exist treatment will be provided accordingly. Fluid build up and Testicular torsion may require immediate surgery to allow the pressure on the testicles to dissipate and the blood flow to resume to the area.
Any delay in this could gravely harm the prognosis and may even lead to gangrene setting in.
Any lumps that are found will be examined closely for the presence of testicular cancer. This form of cancer is one of the most rapidly growing cancers around the world and treatment depends on upon early diagnosis and intervention.
Patients should also be taught the proper method of self-examination to be used as a routine practice in future. Most lumps will be found to be benign and require no treatment whatsoever.
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