Last updated on August 12, 2020
Occasionally I will have a pain that is like somebody has punched me in the testes. It hurts badly if anything touches it, including my leg. As you can imagine, it makes it hard to perform tasks that are normally easy. Is that a normal, healthy part of life? I don’t have any bumps or anything. It happens one testicle at a time, but it happens to both testicles.
Please answer soon. Thank you so much!
Mild twinges may occur once in a while, but what you are describing is not normal and can be a sign of a very serious problem. Your testicles hang by a cord that is attached to some muscles in your pelvis. The purpose of the cord is to raise and lower your testicles in order to regulate temperature and to pull them up when you are active so they don’t get bumped.
The problem is that when a boy is in adolescence, the testicles swing a bit too freely. There are bits of tissue that eventually form on the sides of the testicles that connect them to the sides of the scrotum. But there is a period of time when there isn’t a lot of connecting tissue. If a testicle twists on its cord, it will pinch off the blood supply to that testicle The result is very painful and if not corrected can cause the testicle to die in about 4 to 12 hours. Usually, the side that is twisted also swells and turns a darker color from the backed-up blood. If this happens, it is considered a medical emergency and should not be ignored.
Since you describe a pain that comes and goes, it is possible that the testicle twisted and then managed to twist back into place. If you are not already, it is very important to wear a jockstrap when you are playing sports. The strap holds your testicles against your body and keeps them from twisting.
There is another condition that should be considered. Some men develop a varicocele. This is when the blood vessel that delivers blood to the testicle grows too large no longer functions properly. It is just like a varicose vein in the leg, but it is not an old person’s problem; it commonly hits young men between the ages of 15 and 25. Like testicular torsion (the twisting of the testicle), it requires surgery to correct and must be corrected or you might lose your ability to have children.
Related to this are hydroceles, where fluid collects near the testicle; hematocele, where blood collects near the testicle; and spermatoceles, where sperm backs up and collects near the testicle. Each of these will cause pain in the testicle and should be check by a doctor.
So to be absolutely safe, you need to make an appointment with your doctor and tell him about the pains you are feeling in your testicles. Hopefully, it is nothing, but it is far too important to ignore.