Men’s Health 101: How to Treat Swollen Testicles

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Update Date 26/05/2020 . 4 mins read
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The testicles are very sensitive. Even minor injuries can cause pain and discomfort. It occurs due to various reasons, including injury and infection. In severe cases, a swollen testicle may indicate cancer. Identifying the symptoms and how to treat swollen testicles will enable faster recovery. 

Defining testicular swelling 

Testicular swelling is an inflammation of the testicles, manifested as enlargement of the scrotum or scrotal sac, which houses the testicles. When fluid accumulates within the scrotum or surrounding areas, it grows abnormally. At other times, lumps will appear on one or both sides of the scrotum. 

The swelling can either be painless or extremely painful. Most causes of injury are highly treatable. Seek medical assistance immediately on how to treat swollen testicles if the pain becomes intolerable. If you prolong avoiding treatment, you risk the tissue dying, and you may lose your genitals. Testicular swelling can also be a sign of cancer.

Testicular swelling can develop rapidly or slowly. There are some who will not even show signs unless evaluated by a doctor. 

Visible enlargement of the scrotum is the most common symptom. It may also be one-sided or bilateral and accompanied by lumps. But, these symptoms vary depending on the cause. 

Causes of testicular swelling

Before knowing how to treat swollen testicles, identifying the cause is the first step. An underlying medical condition or injury can also cause testicular swelling. It occurs when there is fluid buildup, inflammation, or an abnormal growth within and around the scrotum. 

Bacterial infection, congestive heart failure, rupture of testicles, and growth abnormalities can also contribute to the swelling. Your doctor can provide the best method of how to treat swollen testicles after a diagnosis.

Symptoms of testicular swelling include:

  • Trauma: Groin injury is very painful but lasts only for a few days. Blunt trauma like sports accidents or a direct kick or punch causes injuries. These result in a bruise or swelling of the scrotal area and testes. How to treat swollen testicles due to trauma and impact includes ice packs, pain medications, and a jock strap.
  • Testicular torsion: Testicular torsion is an injury in which the testicles twist inside the scrotum, cutting off blood circulation. This needs to be treated surgically immediately. The interruption of blood supply could lead to death of tissue affecting the functionality of your testicles. 
  • Hydroceles: A hydrocele is a benign buildup of fluid around a testicle. In most cases, hydroceles occur randomly and during early development. As the testicles descend into the scrotum, an irregular opening that does not close might develop. This causes fluid to accumulate.
  • Hernia: Similar to hydroceles, hernias develop during birth. This is when a portion of the intestines or intestinal fat pokes through a weak spot in the abdomen. Hernias are also common among obese men.

Other symptoms include:

  • Varicocele:  A varicocele is a lumpy mass caused by swollen veins in the testicles. Apart from pain and testicular swelling, adult males may experience reproductive difficulties. If a varicocele happens during puberty, chances are one of the testicles will grow slowly. 
  • Epididymitis: The epididymis is the part of the testicles that stores and carries sperm. Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis and testicle caused by an infection. It is the most common form of testicular pain among men aged 18 and above. How to treat swollen testicles from this condition is by antibiotics intake. For the sexually active, epididymitis can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and chlamydia
  • Cysts: A cyst is a small, enclosed collection of fluid similar to a pimple developing beneath the scrotal skin. Some grow abnormally large enough to put pressure around the groin, thus the swelling. 
  • Testicular cancer: A swollen testicles may also indicate a tumor. However, it is very uncommon and curable even in its advanced stages. Unlike prostate cancer, testicular cancer is not common. According to a study, it affects one out of 250 men usually aged 20 to 40 years.

How to treat swollen testicles: Medical assistance

How to treat swollen testicles depend largely on the severity of cause. If the pain is too uncomfortable, it is important to go to the doctor immediately. This applies as well even if there is no pain but visible changes are present. 

Diagnosis of testicular swelling happens after your testicles and scrotum have been physically examined. It helps to share your medical history because swelling might have been a result of a recent injury or health condition. An ultrasound and other imaging tests can also determine the cause of swelling. In case your doctor suspects a tumor, a biopsy will be done. 

If the testicular swelling is due to an injury, fluid buildup, or varicocele, can be treated with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines. If it is caused by an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate bacteria. Additionally, oral antibiotics will not work, you may need to be admitted for IV antibiotics or receive intramuscular medications.

If it is caused by an underlying medical condition, how to treat swollen testicles is linked to your symptoms. The doctor will prescribe medications to manage the pain. Protective garments also offer additional support. Surgery to correct the condition may be necessary for cases of hernia and hydrocele. 

If a tumor is found, treatment options dif fer depending on the severity. It will usually consist of the following:

  • Surgical removal of tumor
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

How to treat swollen testicles: Home remedies

In milder cases, there are simple treatments that can be done at home. After receiving medical care, home treatment can be done. 

  • Use ice packs. Apply over the scrotum within the first 24 hours of swelling
  • Place a pillow or towel between the legs to elevate the scrotum.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Refrain from doing strenuous activities
  • Wear supportive athletic garment like a jock strap
  • In the case of bleeding, put pressure over the wound and clean with warm water

Testicular self-examination is an effective way to notice unusual changes. Try doing this once a month to familiarize yourself with your testicles. Early detection means faster recovery. 

Key Takeaways

Testicular swelling can cause extreme pain and discomfort. It has many different causes, but is usually harmless. Treatment for swollen testicles depends on the cause, as well as the severity of the swelling. In the case of injury or infection, antibiotics and pain relievers can be used. For more serious conditions, a doctor might recommend surgery, or long-term maintenance. Immediate treatment is important in order to minimize risks including death of tissue or loss of testicle functionality. 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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