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Swollen or painful testicle

The testicles (or "testes") are very sensitive, and it can be very uncomfortable if they are swollen or painful.

The pain or swelling could be caused by many things, including:

  • an injury
  • an infection – mumps and other causes
  • cancer
  • torsion, which means the testicle has twisted
  • problems with the nerves, arteries or veins.

If the pain is severe, or came on suddenly, you should go to the nearest emergency department.

You should also see a doctor immediately if you have pain in the testicles and have fevers and chills, or blood in your urine.

You should make an appointment to see your doctor within a few days if you have mild pain, or if you have a lump or swelling.

A swollen testicle should not be ignored.

If you have pain or swelling, you can ease some of the discomfort until you see a doctor by:

  • putting a rolled up towel between your legs and under your scrotum to raise it up
  • cleaning any wound with warm water then covering the area with cling wrap
  • if there is any bleeding, apply direct pressure with the fingertips for at least 10 minutes .
  • use an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel, for example) for 20 minutes, four times a day, to reduce any swelling.

Don’t wrap anything around the penis or scrotum such as a bandage, tourniquet or sticky tape. Wearing an athletic support (jock strap) or supportive underwear might give some comfort to swollen testicles.

Remember to regularly check your testicles for new lumps or swellings. Your doctor can show you how to do this if you are unsure.

Suspicion of deliberate harm

If there is any suspicion that these symptoms were caused deliberately (on purpose), and were not the result of an accident, you should seek help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Consider talking to your doctor, community nurse, emergency department or school nurse.

If you are unsure who to speak to, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to discuss your concerns with a registered nurse.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your swollen or painful testicle, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

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