What Causes Left Testicle Pain?
The human body acts in obvious ways when anything interrupts its functioning. Some tissues within the human body are more sensitive and responsive than others.
Left testicle pain can happen for many reasons. Pain in the left testicle is caused by minor factors, such as minor injuries. It is still wise to check the situation to determine the cause. There are more serious conditions that could cause the pain.
Pain can travel from the scrotal region to abdomen and lower back in these cases. More severe conditions could lead to serious consequences if left untreated. This article gives information on common causes, home remedies, prevention tips, and when to see a doctor for pain in the left testicle and groin.
What Causes Pain in Left Testicle
Following are the common reasons why you experience pain in the left testicle:
1. Direct Injury
Left testicle pain can come from direct physical injury to the scrotum or testicles. The testicles are made of very sensitive tissues.
Direct injury can happen in different scenarios. An example is engaging in contact sports or activities without using proper safety equipment could lead to extreme pain. Left testicle pain and swelling should go away on its own as the testicle tissues repair themselves.
A hernia can lead to left testicle pain. It is due to muscle weakness in the abdomen area. There are times when large hernias descend to the scrotum area, making it look bulky.
The pain gets worse when the person sneezes, coughs, or moves. Severe cases involve torsion of a hernia, and this scenario causes severe pain. The best treatment for this is the surgical repair (1).
3. Kidney Stones
Pain in testicles and groin can be symptoms of kidney stones. Kidney stones are mineralized stones that are formed in the renal system. The stones travel from the bladder and through the penis. These causes a sharp pain in the abdomen area, and it is transmitted to the groin area.
Another reason why men can have testicular pain is the stones block the urine from leaving the kidney. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine (2).
4. Torsion of Testicles
This is a condition when supporting tissues of the testicles become weak. It results in twisting the testicles out of shape which in turn blocks the blood circulation.
Excess pressure causes the torsion, and it commonly happens during sleep. Symptoms include a sharp pain in the groin and abdomen area. Torsion of the testicles is a severe medical emergency and it needs to be treated in less than 6 hours to prevent testicular death (3).
5. Bacterial Infection
Bacterial infections are usually the result of sexually transmitted infections and other conditions. The scrotal contents become inflamed with pain and swelling. Two conditions – Epididymitis and Orchitis can happen at the same time during a bacterial infection.
Epididymitis: It is when the inflammation of the epididymis happens due to gonorrhea, chlamydia, tuberculosis, or E. coli. Urinary tract infections are usually the cause for children. Rare complications include infertility and death of testicular tissue.
Orchitis: This is an inflammation of the testes. A common cause of this is the Mumps virus, but it can also be caused by the same reasons as epididymitis.
6. Fluid Collection in The Scrotum
There are three conditions that can happen when fluid collects in the scrotum, that are Varicocele, Spermatocele, and Hydrocele.
Varicocele: It is an enlargement of the veins in the testicles. It is like varicose veins, and it is a result of malfunctioning valves or pressure from a nearby structure. It usually does not create other symptoms besides sperm fertility taking a hit.
Spermatocele: It is a fluid-filled cyst in the epididymis. The cyst in noncancerous and does not cause pain. It can interfere with movement if it gets big enough.
Hydrocele: It is when fluid-filled sacs develop on the testicle. The hydrocele is from direct injury. Other symptoms include swelling and discomfort.
It is a chronic or intermittent pain in the scrotal region, and the pain lasts more than 3 months. Alleviating the pain can only be addressed by a doctor, and there are not standard evaluation or treatment plans for this condition.
Treatments may include antibiotics, non-invasive painkillers, and counseling to cope with the pain. There are surgical procedures that could be performed too.
8. Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is associated with left testicle pain, swelling, and lumps. The lumps are hard but do not produce pain. A regular, self-examination of the scrotal region is the first step towards prevention. A doctor’s visit is needed for an evaluation and diagnosis.
Home Remedies for Left Testicle Pain Relief
There are home remedies to try to relieve bruising, swelling, and left testicle pain. These can even boost the healing process. Causes other than direct injury can also benefit from these remedies. An urgent medical help is needed if the left testicle pain is resulting from the severe damage.
Resting and protecting the injured groin region can help the testicles heal on their own. Resting should take up to 2 weeks.
The healing of groin strain could take up to 7 weeks, and activities or work that are the reason for the injury or soreness should be avoided.
Ice helps reduce the swelling and pain. Apply a cold pack or ice on the injured going region for 20 minutes three times a day.
A bag of frozen peas is an acceptable alternative if cold pack or ice are not available. Keeping clothes between the skin and ice is ideal to prevent frostbite. Then, apply warmth to the injured region if the swelling goes away in a couple of days.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
A warm, Epsom salt bath could help if there is visible swelling. Epsom salts can be found in grocery or drug stores. The salt to warm water ratio is 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of hot water.
Wear underwear that is snug, so the testicles have support as they heal. Examples of snug underwear include athletic supporters and jockey shorts. Avoid wearing the boxers.
5. OTC Pain Medicines
Examples of OTC pain medicines are ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These can help ease pain and swelling.
How to Prevent the Pain in Left Testicle
There are a few precautions to take for the groin area to be protected and to prevent left testicle pain. Keep in mind not all causes are preventable.
- Practice safe sex and use a condom to avoid the chance of a sexually transmitted disease
- Wear a protective cup or an athletic supporter while playing contact sports to protect the scrotal area
- Repetitive stress can irritate the perineum and pudendal nerve. Limit activities that cause repetitive stress, such as bicycling and weight lifting
- Practice regular testicular self-examinations to detect tumors early
- Self-education about urinary tract infections and kidney stones
- Make sure urinary tract infections get proper treatment
When to Seek Medical Help for Left Testicle Pain
If left testicle pain is moderate to severe, it is best to see a doctor. It also applies to cases when left testicle pain persists for extended periods of time. Seek medical attention right away for the following:
- There are visible changes to the testicles, such as swelling or lumps
- Urine has blood in it
- Pain spreads to other regions of the body, such as the abdomen, lower back, or chest
- There are symptoms of nausea or fever
These signs could be a more serious issue. Some examples of serious conditions are testicular cancer or infection. It is best to seek medical attention right away when one of these signs is present. An emergency room visit is needed if the testicular pain shoots up quickly.
The doctor might require additional tests to find the cause of the pain. Some of those tests include:
- Testicle ultrasound
- Rectal exam
- Urine cultures
The doctor usually prescribes a treatment after finding the cause. Some examples of medicines and treatments include:
- Antibiotics for infections
- Surgery for more serious cases
- Pain medicines
- Reduction of fluid build-up via surgery