Because the testicles are extremely sensitive, even a slight irritation can cause pain and discomfort. While you may experience testicular pain during or after a workout, pinpointing exercise as the cause may be difficult. Some causes of this pain are benign, but you should seek a doctor's advice if you have extreme or chronic pain, which may be a sign of a serious health condition. In some cases, you may require surgery, but other causes can be resolved with some simple lifestyle modifications.
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The testes are located in the scrotum, which hangs outside of your body between your legs. Unlike most vital organs, the testes do not have the protection of bones and muscles, leaving them exposed to trauma. Testicular trauma can occur during contact sports if the testicles are being struck, kicked or crushed. Men can even irritate this area by running or biking. To avoid testicular pain, wear an athletic cup during contact sports. In other sports, such as biking, wear appropriate clothing and sit on a padded seat. Limit exercise that appears to irritate the groin area.
Your testicles are secured in the scrotum by a structure called the spermatic cord. The cord can become twisted, cutting off the blood supply. Symptoms include sudden and severe pain, enlargement and tenderness. Most common among boys aged 12 to 18, testicular torsion is an emergency and usually requires surgical correction. If left untreated, the affected testicle may become damaged and require removal. If you notice severe pain after exercise, seek out medical attention immediately.
A hernia occurs when a weak spot in the abdominal wall allows some of the abdominal lining to pass through the muscle tissue. Inguinal hernias occur in the groin area and may cause pain in the testicular area. Symptoms may not appear when resting but can develop when exercising or lifting heavy objects. If you've noticed these symptoms and also have a small bulge in the groin area, then you may have developed an inguinal hernia. Hernias occur in males of all ages and may not have an obvious cause, which is why they can be present for a long time without being diagnosed. The outcome for most hernias is good with treatment; most people experience a full recovery.
Bacterial infections occur in the testicles, especially if you exercise frequently without emptying your bladder. The buildup of urine in the bladder provides a breeding ground for bacteria, the growth of which may lead to pain that worsens with exercise. In this case, you may also experience a fever, blood in your urine or lower back pain. Because all of these symptoms are serious, seek medical help immediately. If the cause is a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that will effectively kill the bacteria.