Swollen Testicle Causes: Left, Right, with Pain, STD, in Child, Treatment

What causes swollen testicle? Get insights on the causes of testicle swelling that is painful, in child and adults, how to get rid and treatment.
Testicular swelling that occur with pain in the testicle can arise from several different causes some of which call for a medical emergency. Testicular swelling may be realized when there is a localized increase in size of a testicle or a more generalized enlargement of a scrotum. This may occur on one side or both sides inclusive of pain or without pain as well and with other signs.

Swollen Testicle Causes

One or both testicles swelling may make a man to be more concerned of his health. Swollen testicle may indicate presence of several problems, and even the scrotum can swell as well. Most conditions that may result to the swelling can be treated, especially if they are realized early enough.
It is very importance when realizing any pain or strange filling from your testicles to immediately talk to your doctor or urology next to you.
The following are causes:
An infection can arise from the testis itself or the epididymis [a duct that connect the testes to the urine tube] and spread to the testes. These problems known as orchitis and epididymis respectively usually result to testicular swelling accompanied with scrotal pain. In most cases it usually occur with fever. These kind of infections usually attack males between the age of 14 and 35, and they rae caused by the same bacteria responsible for the STIs chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Also infection with mumps virus can cause orchitis, a problem that can cause infertility when it occurs in adults.
Testicular torsion
Regardless of the testes location in the scrotum, it gets its blood supply from the artery that originates in the abdomen. The artery passes through the groin as part of a structure called the spermatic cord to reach the testis. Though it is rare but severe condition, testicular torsion- the testis twists around the spermatic cord. The twisting cuts off blood supply to the testicles resulting to swollen testicles and pain. This usually occur due to injury or because of a congenitally loose attachment of testicle to the scrotum. It is a rare condition affecting men under 25 and requires emergency when it occurs.
Testicular cancer
Can also result to swelling of the testis. The swelling is usually on the affected side but not always. When the tumor is severe may cause a lump on the testis, but it can also lead to generalized swelling sometimes with pain and uneasiness. This type of cancer is rare and usually affect males between 15 to 34 years, although it can come at any age. The testicle cancer is highly treatable type of cancer especially if noticed earlier.
Other causes
Varicocele can also cause swollen testicles. The veins that carry blood from the testis back to the heart form network in the spermatic cord, causing the veins to function poorly. This causes blood to pool or flow to slowly leading to backup of blood in the testis hence swelling. This problem develop slowly and it is common in young males. Due to the architecture of testicular blood supply the problem is common on the left side and can usually be treated with surgery.
Spermatocele can as well cause swollen testicles. It is a noncancerous condition that arise when a fluid –filled cyst develops in the testis or epididymis. It might cause no symptoms but may lead to noticeable swelling on the testis.

Swollen Left Testicle

The veins that carry blood from the testis back to the heart from a network in the spermatic cord. Sometimes, veins in this network enlarge and function poorly. This causes blood to pool or flow too slowly, leading to backup of blood in the testis and swelling.
This condition is common in young men. Because of the architecture of the testicular blood supply, it tends to develop most often on the left side and can usually be treated with a surgery or other procedures. This problem is called varicocele and can also cause swollen testicle on the left side.
The reason of this occurring on the left side is because, the veins that carry blood from the testicles back to the heart are located on the left testicle thus the network forms there.

Swollen Right Testicle

The swelling may occur on right side of the testicle or both, in most cases it can be caused by testicular torsion. This kind of complication is usually result of the testicle becomes twisted in the scrotum and loses its blood supply.
It is a serious urgently, if this twisting is not relieved quickly, the testicle may be permanently lost. This condition is extremely painful. Losing blood supply for some time can cause tissue death and the loss of a testicle. You have to go straight to your health doctor because it is very dangerous.
If you notice that your testicle is twisted, here are some tips you can use to reduce the pain in your swollen right testicle or both.

Home care

  • Apply ice packs to the scrotum for the first 24 hours, followed by sitz bath to decrease swelling.
  • If the pain is serious, place a rolled-up towel between the legs just under the scrotum to help relieve the pain and reduce swelling, but still the medical attention is needed to make sure it is not torsion.
  • Wear loose pants for your daily activities.
  • Avoid excessive activity until the swelling disappears completely.

Swollen Testicle with Pain

There are many cases that leads to pain in the scrotum. Most lumps are not cancer, and others are not serious. But it is important to visit your physician if you are feeling pain or uncomfortable in this area. Boys and men should get to know what their testes usually feel like, so they will know if something has changed. The testicle is very sensitive, such that even a minor injury can cause testicle pain or discomfort.
The swollen testicle pain may appear from within the testicle itself or from the coiled tube and supporting tissue behind it. Here are the possible causes:

  • Extra fluid inside
  • Abnormal tissue growing
  • Some normal tissue which has become swollen, inflamed, or hard
  • Nerve damage that caused by diabetes, diabetic neuropathy
  • Testicle inflammation, epididymitis
  • a type of gangrene which is called Fournier’s gangrene
  • henoch-schonlein purpura caused by blood vessel inflammation
  • fluid buildup that causes swelling of testicle, hydrocele
  • testicular cancer
  • urinary tract infection[ UTI]
  • scrotal masses
  • testicular torsion [twisted testicle]
  • undescended testicle [in other word cryptorchidism]
  • varicocele [enlarged veins in the testicle]
  • spermatocele [fluid buildup in the testicle]
  • testicle injury or blow to the testicle
  • mumps
  • kidney stones
  • a testicle that pulls up inside the groin, retractile testicle this condition mostly occurs in young boys

Also there are uncommon causes that are rare or less in swollen testicles
Uncommon causes

  • oedema this appears when the whole body forms too much fluid
  • an STI infection called syphilis, which in most cases it can cause soft lumps called gummas
  • roundworms this worms infection can block the drainage system of the body’s fluids
  • hidradenitis suppurativa these are boils of the skin
  • Henoch-schonlein purpura this is a condition that causes skin rash, abdominal pain, and joints pain. Sometimes the testicles can also become inflamed. It develops because of a reaction of the immune system.

Medical attention is needed
Seeking medicals advice is very important especially when you notice any change in your testicle, if it is painful or discomfort you should visit your doctor immediately.
It determines with the cause of your problem, actually no treatment is needed at all. In some serious cases like testicular torsion or testicular cancer, you need to see your doctor urgently. Make sure you always see a physician to get advice about whether treatment is needed or not.

Swollen Testicle STD

When one or both testicles are swollen, it is often disturbing and can cause a discomfort to the affected person. For someone who is sexually active, it is easy to assume that swollen testicles are the result of an STD. apart from sexually transmitted diseases, there are many infectious and non-infectious causes of testicular swelling.
Some of the infectious causes of the swelling of testes include epididymis – inflammation of the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the penis caused by the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhea. The STDs can cause numerous symptoms besides swollen testes, and are easily treated with antibiotics. Orchitis [inflammation of one or both testicles] can also be caused by several types of bacteria and viruses.
Swollen testicles, or a sensation of a fullness in the testicle, may also result to an inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernias appears when part of the intestine becomes displaced, slipping through the inguinal canal into the testis. This develops a visible bulge in the testicular sac, swelling, and in most cases pain as the intestinal loop is confined or held up in such a small space.
Serious causes of testicular swelling
Testicular masses, such as a hydrocele, spermatocele, or rarely testicular cancer are also causes of testicular swelling. A hydrocele fluid collection around the testicle, spermatocele cyst that forms in the epididymis, and testicular cancer can all be painless, but can cause pain when they become large enough to press on other structures in the groin.
Testicular swelling mostly caused by some potentially severe processes, it is very important that anyone experiencing testicular swelling be evaluated by a doctor to determine the cause. Swelling accompanied by sudden, severe testicle pain requires immanency medical attention.

  • Your testicular is associated by severe or unexpected pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • You may feel lump in the scrotum
  • Your swelling is associated by fever
  • Your scrotum id tender to touch, is red, or feel warm
  • You have been in recent contact with someone who has mumps.

Swollen Testicle in Child

The testis are formed in the abdominal part of the body or belly while the baby boy is in the womb and normally descend, or move down to the scrotum towards the end of pregnancy. In some cases, one or both testicles may fail to descend at birth or over the next few months after birth calling for serious attention.
The testes or balls are male sex glands where sperm and hormones are made. These balls hung in a bag called scrotum. The testes are very sensitive to pain and temperature as the sperm need the right condition and cool temperature to form properly. This is why testes come lower during hotter days so that they can keep cooler and up near the warmth of the body on cold days. When one wears tight jeans is not the right ideal for the health of testes.

Testes formation

As said earlier the testes are formed in the abdomen and moves down to the scrotum when the baby is almost to be born.
Through early childhood, the testes easily move up out of the scrotum especially if it is cold, or the child is upset. You may realize swollen testicles and all of a sudden they disappear. This commonly known as cremasteric reflex. They usually come back to the scrotum when they fill much warmth and you can often see them both in the scrotum after a warm bath. As long as they were properly down earlier at birth, the going up and down is normal.

Undescended testes

This is where testicle is one which is missing from the scrotum and is lodged in the groin or in the lower abdomen. This may be seen by one side of a swollen testicle while the other is compressed completely. This does not cause any pain and doesn’t affect the way the baby urinates.
In some cases both testes fail to descend at birth or over the next few months leaving the scrotum compressed together. This problem is common in boys who are born prematurely. If the testes is in the abdomen, it may be too warm for normal development of sperm. If on testis has descended, it will be able to make enough sperm so that will be no case of infertility on your son in future. If both of them have not descended is where problems arises.
If the undescended testis is not brought down in the first year or two of life, it may produce less sperm. Though in rare cases, undescended testis has greater chances of getting cancer in adult age.

There are two types of undescended testes:

Congenital –where one or both testes do not descend at birth or the following few months. It is more common if the baby is born prematurely.
Acquired –in some boys a testis gradually moves up out of the scrotum between one and ten years of age. This is also called ascending testis and should be checked immediately as it may require treatment.
Result of swollen testicles in babies
Some babies have a pad of fat around the groin that tends to hide both the penis and testes causing the genital area to appear like swollen. This is normal and it goes away as the baby grows into a child. Both the penis and the testes can be felt in the pad of fat.
When the mother was infected with STIs and it happens that the child gets into contact with the infection during childbirth, it may cause some complications to the baby’s genitals. This may happen but in rare cases, causing the baby to have swollen testicles or even pen.
Hydrocele- this is whereby the baby is born with extra fluids in the scrotum causing swollen testicles as the whole bag is swollen. The scrotum can look bigger than the usual and the swelling may feel quite firm. This can appear on one or both side of the scrotum. The condition is harmless and usually go away after a few months.
Inguinal hernia and femoral hernia –happens when some of the abdomen content finds its way through a weak spot in the muscles that cover it.
Torsion of the testis whereby the tissue supporting a testis can become twisted and this blocks the blood vessels to the testis hence swelling. This commonly happen in childhood.
A viral infection called epididymis though uncommon in children, it affects the testis or the urinary duct.
What to do

  • Check if both testes are in the scrotum a few weeks after birth. This is very easy to realize and the doctor will always examine it at birth and some few weeks after birth.
  • Make sure you attend clinics when pregnant and when found with any sexually transmitted diseases you should be treated immediately.
  • As your son grows, check every year to be sure that the testes can be seen or felt in the scrotum. The best time to do this is during a warm bath. If one or both of them are not felt it is good you see the doctor immediately.
  • Your child health nurse should always be checking on the condition of the testes at each health checkup.

If the testes does not come in the scrotum after a few months after birth, an operation called archidopexy is done to bring it down and fix it in place. This is usually after 6 to 12 months of age.
If the testes moves up and down the baby’s scrotum, later the same surgery is done to fix the problem. Though this kind of condition rarely needs treatment.
Always attend clinics so that any condition on the mother or child is brought into medication.

For hydrocele the doctor may shine a light through the scrotum to see that swollen testicles is caused by fluid. If does not go away after 18 months to 2 years an operation may be needed, though not common.

How to Get Rid of Swollen Testicle, Treatment

In order to successively treat you swollen testicle it is important that you be aware of the underlying cause of the swelling. It is common that your health care provider may perform a physical checkup and also ask you a number of questions about the swelling on when the swelling started and how you fill. He/ she may ask if you had intercourse before the swelling started or not to ascertain if is an STIs or not.
They may want to know if it is getting worse all the time and the size. Quantity as accurately as you can. Or may be interested to have a closer look on the swollen testicle to confirm if the swelling may be fluid and if you fill tissue in the swollen area. If the swelling is on one part of the testicle or in the entire testicle.
The treatment of the swollen testicle will depend on how you answer the questions and symptoms and the doctor may conduct some tests to conclude on the real problem.

Treatment of the conditions

Treatment for hydrocele
The doctor may shine some light in the swelling to conclude that the swelling is caused by a fluid.  If the swelling does not go away after some drug’s prescription, a surgery may be carried out to drain the fluid.
What to do for torsion of the testis
When the tissue supporting the testis is twisted hence block blood flow, you may need to see a doctor immediately. A minor surgery may be carried out immediately to re-aline the vessels.
Treatment for epididymis
This is a viral infection around the testis and the doctor may screen to ascertain the condition. You may be given anti- viral drugs and the problem may disappear after some days.
May lead to a swollen testicle and sore testis [orchitis] usually on one side.  Orchitis may occur after 7 to 10 days after swelling of the glands. This can be treated by use of drugs. This should be done after testing done by a doctor.
Home care activities
Always be careful to yourself to prevent sexually transmitted infections. You can use protection during intercourse or abstain if possible. You can as well be going for screening with your partner to be on the safe side. Lastly avoid having numerous sexual partners.
Further references:

  1. Scrotal swelling: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003161.htm
  2. Ways to treat swollen testicles: http://www.livestrong.com/article/9326-treat-swollen-testicles/
  3. Swollen testicles from STDs: https://www.stdtestexpress.com/swollen-testicles/
  4. Causes of testicular lumps and swelling: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Testicular-lumps-benign/Pages/Causes.aspx
  5. Testicle pain: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/testicle-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050942