Overview of Testicular Pain

Testicular pain, or any pain in one or both sides of the scrotum (sac that holds the testicles), should be taken seriously. Pain in the scrotum can occur in males of any age, including newborns. The testicles, or testes, are the two male reproductive glands that produce sperm. These glands are very sensitive and even a minor injury can cause pain or discomfort. Many types of testicular or scrotal pain need medical attention.

Testicular or scrotal pain that is sudden or severe, pain that is associated with a puncture wound, pain that occurs with swelling after an injury and lasts more than one hour, and pain that is accompanied by nausea or vomiting are emergencies and require immediate medical attention.

Pain or tenderness in the scrotum that is associated with a lump, fever, unusual warmth or redness, blood in urine (hematuria), unusual discharge from the urethra, mumps exposure, or chronic pain should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. If untreated, some conditions can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction (ED), severe or chronic pain, or cause tissue death that may make removal of the testicle necessary.

Anatomy of the Testicles

In some cases, the actual source of testicular pain is not the testicles, but a structure located in the scrotal region. The testes, or testicles, are the two male reproductive glands that produce sperm. Located above each testicle is an epididymis, another important part of the sperm development process. The epididymes are more prone to infection than the testicles. The scrotum is the sac that holds and protects the testes and epididymes. The perineum is the area between the scrotum and the anus.

Groin is a term often mistakenly used interchangeably with testicles or scrotum. However, groin technically refers to the fold or line between the abdomen and inner thigh, and the term may also be used to refer to this general region.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 15 May 2007

Last Modified: 26 May 2011