When A Sore Testicle May Require Medical Treatment

A sore testicle can not only be a cause of discomfort, and at times extreme discomfort, but also can be a cause of worry and concern. This isn't surprising of course, and the reason behind the fear goes much deeper than any fear of losing sexual prowess. Since the testicles play a key role in human reproduction, a problem with one or both of them instinctively becomes a cause for concern.

The pain that can result from a blow to the testicles is certainly to be feared, as it is probably the worst pain a male can experience. The testicles have many nerve endings, so it doesn't take much to make a testicle sore, tender, or painful. The many nerve endings no doubt have something to do with protecting the male reproductive system, as the brain is quick to respond if something is bothering a testicle, or threatening to.

It would be nice if the testicles resided inside of the lower abdomen instead of being exposed, but for everything there is a reason, and the reason for this has to do with keeping the testes within a certain range of temperatures. Internal body temperature is too high. While we all know that trauma can cause a sore testicle, and often a very painful one, there are other causes as well, some of which require treatment, and some of which do not, beyond any treatment needed to relieve soreness.

Soreness Following Exercise Or Running

Men sometimes experience soreness in their testicles after working our, or after running. In most instances there is little need to be concerned, since the problem can usually be eliminated by providing better support to the testicles, such as a jock strap provides. If the problem does not go away, or seems to be getting worse, it would be best to have a physician look into it.

Inflammation Of The Epididymis

One of the more common causes of soreness in a testicle is epididymitis. The epididymis is a coiled tube behind the testicle that carries and stores sperm. Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis, a condition whose most common symptoms are pain and swelling. In most instances, only the epididymis becomes inflamed, but the entire testicle becomes inflamed as well, the condition is called epididymoorchitis, which as one might expect, will also result in swelling, pain, and general discomfort.

Inflammation Of The Scrotum

The scrotum is the sac which contains the testes, and can itself be a cause of soreness or discomfort should it for some reason become inflamed. This most commonly happens when either a bacterial or fungal infection is present on the surface of the skin. In most cases, any soreness tends to be mild or only slightly irritating, and the testicles themselves are generally not affected.

Inguinal Hernia

A somewhat less common cause of a sore testicle is an inguinal hernia. This occurs when a portion of an intestine has broken through a defect in the muscular wall between the intestine and the testicles, and slides into the scrotum. When this happens, direct pressure may be placed on a testicle, causing swelling, soreness, or general discomfort.


One might expect a tumor on a testicle or within the scrotum to cause soreness, since a tumor could put pressure on one of the testicles. In a majority of cases however, tumors do not cause pain or discomfort. This is in a way unfortunate, as the pain would provide a warning that a tumor or some other abnormality exists.

Twisted Appendages And Testicular Torsion

The testicular appendage and the epididymal appendage are two groups of tissue that are left over from embryonic development, and no longer serve any useful purpose. These tissues can at times become twisted, a cause of soreness or pain. A more serious condition is when a testicle twists inside the scrotum, and in doing so, may cut off its own blood supply. This can cause significant soreness, but it is also a medical emergency, since if the blood supply is not restored, the result can be the death of the testicle. If the condition is treated within 6 hours of its occurrence there is a 90% or greater chance the testicle can be saved. If 24 hours goes by without treatment, there is a 10% or less chance the testicle will be saved.


Over the counter pain medicines can sometimes provide a measure of relief if one is experiencing a sore testicle. In most instances however it's wise to seek proper medical care. Treatment usually includes prescribing pain and anti-inflammatory medications, applying ice packs, and possibly providing support to the scrotum if such support is deemed necessary. When epididymitis is the cause of the soreness, an antibiotic will normally be prescribed, together with a pain medication. Surgery would only be a consideration in the event an abscess is present somewhere in or near the epididymis tube. If the soreness is due to trauma, there may be some instances where surgical intervention will be needed, and surgery is certain to be required when the soreness is found to result from testicular torsion.

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