Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Injured footballer.

Injured footballer.
beginning of content

Swollen or painful testicle

4-minute read

The testicles (or testes) are very sensitive, and it can be very uncomfortable if they are swollen or painful. A swollen or painful testicle should not be ignored as it can be a sign of an urgent and serious illness.

Remember to regularly check your testicles for new lumps or swellings. Your doctor can show you how to do this if you are unsure. Most lumps are not cancer, but it's important to have them checked out.

If pain is severe, or came on suddenly, seek medical help immediately by either calling your doctor, going to your nearest emergency department or calling an ambulance on triple zero (000). It may be a sign of a serious illness that requires urgent treatment.

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 an enlarged testicle, a lump or scrotal swelling.

What causes swollen or painful testicles?

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

  • an injury
  • an infection such as mumps and other causes. Epididymitis is one of the most common causes of scrotal pain in men
  • a cyst — fluid-filled sac that can feel like a small, hard lump when touched. Cysts are usually harmless
  • testicular cancer
  • testicular torsion. This happens when a testicle twists in the scrotum and cuts off the blood supply, and causes swelling. This is a medical emergency — unless the condition is treated quickly, the testicle can die
  • problems with the nerves, arteries or veins, such as a varicocele, which is a lumpy area caused by swollen veins in the testicles

Swollen testes are more common in children. See your doctor if your son has symptoms of a scrotal lump.

Baby boys can commonly experience a hydrocele, which is a sac filled with fluid around a testicle. It causes the scrotum to be swollen. This is usually harmless and goes away after a few months.

How are swollen or painful testes diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine your testicles and may also order urine tests and imaging tests such as an ultrasound.

How are swollen or painful testes treated?

Treatment will depend on what is causing the pain or swelling. For torsion of the testicles, an urgent operation is needed. Some conditions will require painkillers and supportive care (see self care).

Self care

If you have pain or an enlarged testicle, 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, applying direct pressure with the fingertips for at least 10 minutes
  • using an ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel) for 20 minutes, 4 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.

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 (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria) 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).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2021

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Testicular cancer -

Testicular cancer usually starts as a painless lump or swelling in just one testicle. If diagnosed early it has a high cure rate.

Read more on myDr website

Hydroceles | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

A hydrocele is a very common condition affecting boys, where a fluid-filled sac develops inside the scrotum around the testis, making it look swollen

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Testicular torsion: Rick's painful encounter with twisted testicles | myVMC

Testicular torsion is a painful experience and, as Rick explains, it can happen to any man at any time. So it might be a good idea to read on and be prepared, just in case.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Testicular conditions

A number of conditions can affect the testicles (the male sex glands where sperm are made.)

Read more on WA Health website

Varicocele -

A varicocele is a common cause of a lump in the scrotum. It is a collection of widened veins on the outside of a testicle that can affect fertility in some men. Many varicocoelse develop during puberty.

Read more on myDr website

Testicle injuries and conditions - Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Mumps in children and teenagers | Raising Children Network

Mumps is a viral illness that spreads through saliva from coughing and sneezing. Mumps is rare in Australia because most children are immunised against it.

Read more on website

What to expect during a male genital examination | Healthy Male

Whether there’s a lump or bump you’re worried about or you’re after a routine check-up to make sure everything’s in working order — if you haven’t had a genital examination before it’s normal to feel a bit nervous.

Read more on Healthy Male - Andrology Australia website

Testicular cancer: Overview | Cancer Council Victoria

Understand more about testicular cancer, including the different types, how common it is, risk factors and symptoms.

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache) | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is it? Abdominal pain is very common in children and there are many causes

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo