Testicular pain: when to see a specialist

Written by: Mr Andrew Ballaro
Edited by: Karolyn Judge

When pain in the testicles becomes an ongoing issue, it may be time to see a doctor. Leading senior urology consultant Mr Andrew Ballaro advises on chronic testicular pain and what to do if you experience it. 

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What is considered chronic testicular pain?

Chronic testicular pain is discomfort perceived to originate from the scrotum that has lasted over three months and interferes with daily living enough for the patient to seek treatment. The pain can be intermittent or constant, and is usually described as a dull ache but can also be a dragging, burning or sharp sensation.



What are the most common causes of testicular pain?

There are many causes of testicular pain such as:

  • Infections
  • Post-traumatic reactions
  • Post-surgical reactions
  • Varicocele

In addition, cysts and tumours can cause testicular pain. Conditions arising outside of the scrotum such as prostate and bladder problems, or kidney stones, can create problems, too. We find no clear cause in up to half of patients. 



When should I see a doctor about testicular pain?

You should see a doctor about testicular pain if it occurs very suddenly and is severe. In which case, a twisted testicle may have occurred so the accident and emergency department is the best place to go. For chronic pain, you should see a doctor if it has not responded to pain killers and is interfering with activities in your daily life. You should also see a doctor if you find any new lumps in the scrotum.



Can testicular pain be a medical emergency in some cases?

Sudden onset testicular pain may be caused by testicular torsion, which is an emergency and requires urgent surgical treatment. Torsion is more likely in younger men and boys but can occur in middle age.



How can I relieve testicular pain at home?

Testicular pain sometimes requires no treatment and will go away on its own. If the pain is a mild, dull ache, the testicle is not tender to touch and feels normal with no swelling, it is reasonable to take over the counter pain relief for a few days, which often settles it.



How long does testicular pain take to alleviate?

Chronic testicle pain with no cause can take many months to settle.



When might treatment be necessary?

Treatment is necessary when a reversible cause for the pain is found. In addition, chronic pain with no cause often responds well to a specific type of painkiller only available on prescription, which targets the nerves responsible for chronic pain pathways.


As a last resort, operations can be performed to strip the nerves causing the pain from the testis and testicular removal may also help.



If you’re concerned about chronic testicular pain or related issues, get in touch with Mr Andrew Ballaro for expert advice. Visit his Top Doctors profile here

By Mr Andrew Ballaro

Mr Andrew Ballaro is a highly regarded consultant urologist in North London and Essex with over 15 years of experience. He specialises in the management of all urological problems including blood in urine, urinary infections, prostate pain syndromes, general prostate and bladder disease, and the diagnosis of urological cancers including the investigation of raised PSA with MRI Fusion prostate biopsy.

He has specialist surgical expertise in the management of kidney stone disease and benign prostate enlargement (BPE), and consistently publishes UK leading surgical outcomes for complex stone operations. He offers a choice of surgical procedures for benign prostatic enlargement tailored to the patient’s requirements including Holmium Laser prostatectomy (HOLEP) and is highly experienced in dealing with very large prostates and urinary retention, with every patient in a large series going home the day after surgery without a catheter.

Mr Ballaro takes satisfaction in providing second opinions, and is supported by a warm, skilled and responsive managerial team. Together they aim to provide the best possible outcome for each and every patient. Mr Ballaro's extensive training began after graduating from The Royal Free Hospital Medical School in London, and undertaking his surgical training at Oxford. He was awarded a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of London and went on to complete higher urological training on the North London Training Scheme. This was followed by advanced training in complex stone surgery from national and international experts in his field.

Alongside his dedication to education, he is currently teaching trainees at the London Deanery, catering to various levels of expertise. Additionally, he has been honoured with a Hunterian Professorship from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, showcasing his commitment to scholarly pursuits. Holding a master’s degree in urology and an MD in clinical sciences from the Institute of Urology, Mr. Ballaro has extensively published research on bladder physiology and minimally invasive urological surgery. He is the co-author of the latest edition of the popular medical student textbook 'Lecture Notes in Urology'.


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