The testicles are extremely sensitive, so even a slight injury, infection or other issue with the scrotum or the surrounding area can cause some serious pain. So if you experience right or left testicle pain after a workout, there are some common causes to consider.
Indeed, there are a number of reasons you might notice testicular pain after exercise. Here are those potential causes, plus what to do about them.
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If you experience sudden severe pain or if your tender balls are accompanied by fever, chill, nausea or blood in your urine, seek medical assistance right away, as this may be a sign of a serious condition called testicular torsion (more on that later), per the Mayo Clinic.
Injury is a common cause of testicular pain after working out, per the Cleveland Clinic. Testicles are tender and sensitive, so even minor trauma can lead to pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And it doesn't necessarily have to be trauma directly to your scrotum — injuring the tissue around your testes can also lead to pain, bruising or swelling in the area. What's more, injury can lead to a condition called hematocele, where blood accumulates in a testicle, per the Cleveland Clinic. This may be to blame for pain in one testicle after exercise.
If you notice any of these symptoms or sustain trauma during exercise — which is particularly common if you play contact sports or get testicular pain from your bike seat — visit your doctor to determine the best treatment for your injury. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some at-home remedies may include:
- Icing the area
- Taking warm baths
- Non-prescription pain relievers
- Placing a rolled towel under your scrotum while lying down
- Wearing a cup or athletic supporter
2. Inguinal Hernia
A groin (or inguinal) hernia is another potential cause of right or left testicle pain after a workout, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This occurs when part of your intestine pushes through a weak point in your abdominal wall near your groin.
You may feel pain or swelling in the groin or testicles, and this may be exacerbated by exercise that involves heavy lifting and bending, or even just by coughing, per the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include:
- Bulging, burning and aching around the pubic bone
- Groin pain, weakness or pressure
- A heavy or dragging sensation in your groin
- Swollen testicles
While not dangerous itself, an inguinal hernia can lead to other, more serious conditions, so get it checked out by a doctor.
If your hernia bulge turns red, purple or dark, this could be a sign that it's cutting off your blood flow, per the Mayo Clinic. Seek medical care immediately, as this complication can be life-threatening.
Random pain in your testicle could be a sign of orchitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, this inflammatory condition is the result of a bacterial or viral infection such as:
- Urinary tract infection
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Mumps virus
- Prostatitis (an infected or inflamed prostate)
Pain in the testicles after working out can be a symptom of orchitis. Other signs of the condition include:
If you notice testicular pain and swelling, visit your doctor right away so they can test for and treat the underlying infection.
Orchitis can affect one or both testicles, per the Mayo Clinic, so if you only experience left testicle pain after a workout, that may be the reason why.
If your balls hurt after working out, another inflammatory condition called epididymitis may be to blame, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This occurs when the tube that stores and carries sperm (the epididymis) becomes inflamed, and strenuous lifting or exercise can contribute to it.
Epididymitis can lead to symptoms like:
- Pain in the scrotum or groin
- Swelling and redness
- Blood in the semen
- A scrotum that's hot to the touch
- Painful urination
You'll need antibiotics to treat this condition, so visit your doctor if you experience the symptoms.
5. Testicular Torsion
If you notice pulsating testicle pain, it may be a sign of a dangerous condition called testicular torsion, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This occurs when the tube supplying blood to the scrotum twists and cuts off blood flow, sometimes as the result of an injury. Though rare, it can lead to testicle loss if not treated right away.
Besides pulsating pain in the testicle, other symptoms include:
- Sudden severe pain in one testicle
- Swelling on one side of the scrotum
- A visible lump
If you suspect torsion, seek medical care right away.
Why Does My Left Testicle Hurt When I Sit?
Torsion typically only affects one testicle, more commonly the left one, per the Cleveland Clinic. What's more, testicular torsion and the resulting pulsing in testicle isn't typically caused by exercise — it usually occurs spontaneously.
So if you notice a pulsating feeling in your left testicle along with any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
6. Post-Vasectomy Pain
You may experience testicular pain after exercise if you recently had a vasectomy. Indeed, some people notice pain after the procedure due to higher pressure in the areas surrounding your testes, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
While some residual discomfort is normal, visit your doctor if you experience severe pain, swelling, discharge or painful urination, per the Mayo Clinic.
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Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.