A 22 year old male started having a strange feeling of pain in left testicle and groin. He did not find anything on checking for abnormalities and lumps and wasn’t able to determine whether it was a kind of groin strain or the pain was originating near or inside the testicle. The man had to squat for some time when having to change the oil of his car which was his last physical activity and he is concerned whether it is a sign of some infection or varicocele or is it the reason for the pain itself.
The man is not sexually active and sitting is the position when his pain seems to worsen the most. He is capable of walking though without encountering any issues. The nauseas feeling he has been having are suspected to be unrelated. The question is what the issue might be?
What Causes Pain in Left Testicle and Groin?
Direct injury to the scrotum or the testicles can result in pain in the testicles and groin. There can be many ways in which a direct injury might occur to the testicles. For instance, playing contact sports without the proper safety equipment can leave you vulnerable to a direct injury resulting in swelling and extreme pain. Both the swelling and the pain are going to subside with the passage of time as the sensitive tissues in the testicles repair themselves.
Varicocele, Epididymal Cyst and Hydrocele
Varicocele, hydrocele and epididymal cysts do not actually cause pain in the testicles. They rather cause discomfort in and around the testicles. A varicocele is formed because of a varicose vein in the scrotum and it feels as if a bag of worms has been put on the testicles. Hydrocele is caused because of a direct injury and is characterized as a bag of clear fluid around the testicles. Epididymal cysts are small or large blisters that form on the Epididymis and can cause occasional pain.
Muscle weakness in the abdominal muscles leads to hernia. Large hernias can sometimes descend into the scrotum and make it look much more bulky in appearance. The pain it causes is mostly abdominal in nature and worsens if you sneeze, cough or move. Torsion of the hernia is also among the conditions that can result in a great deal of pain. Surgical repairing of the hernia is the best treatment available for this condition in which the underlying muscle weakness is corrected.
Epididymitis and Orchitis
Epididymitis is the inflammation of the Epididymis while Orchitis is the inflammation of the testicles. These conditions often occur at the same time, causing testicular pain, swelling and tenderness. Epididymitis is caused usually because of an STI named gonorrhea or other infections like tuberculosis and E. coli. Orchitis on the other hand is caused mostly because of the viral infection mumps especially in adult men and it usually targets one side of the testicles but can affect both sides sometimes.
Kidney stones can sometimes cause pain in the testicles and the groin. They are mineralized stones which form in the renal system and get passed down to the bladder and out through the penis. Kidney stones usually cause an intense and sharp pain in the abdomen which radiates into the scrotum and the groin region. The pain is accompanied with vomiting and nausea and can also result in blood in urine. Kidney stones cannot be treated at home and sometimes require surgical removal if they can’t be passed through the urinary tract.
Torsion of the Testicles
Testicular torsion is a condition in which the testicles twist out of shape, cutting off the blood supply coming from the body. It results in a sudden and sharp pain in the scrotum which affects the groin area or the lower part of the abdomen. Torsion of the testicles is usually caused by exertion and occurs when a person in deep in sleep. Testicular torsion is a serious problem and if it is not treated quickly than it results in testicle death within six hours.
How to Deal With Pain in Left Testicle and Groin at Home
Bruising, swelling and pain can be relieved by home treatment and it can also boost the healing process in the wake of a groin injury. Non-injury causes of scrotum pain left side can also be treated with these home treatments. However, it is best to go for first aid and then to a doctor if you think the pain is being caused by a severe injury.
Rest. Resting and protecting the sore or injured groin region for up to 2 weeks is very helpful. Since healing of a groin strain can take several weeks, hard work or activities that have been the reason for your soreness and pain must be avoided for some time.
Ice. Cold reduces swelling and pain. Immediately apply cold pack or ice for reducing the swelling. Leave the cold pack or ice on the injured area for 20 minutes at least thrice a day. You can turn a frozen bag of corn or peas into a cold pack too. Keeping a cloth in between the skin and the ice can help you in protecting your skin from frostbite. If the swelling subsides by 48-72 hours, warmth must be applied to the paining region.
Support. Wearing underwear that offers support to the injured area is a good idea while you recover from a groin injury. Wearing snuggly fit jockey shorts instead of boxer shorts is best for males.
Using OTC pain medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for reducing pain.
When to See a Doctor
If moderate to intense pain in left testicle and groin persists for an extended period of time then it is best to consult a physician regarding your symptoms.
Immediately call the physician if:
You observe physical alterations in the testicles like swelling or lumps
Your urine has blood in it
Pain escalates to the chest, abdomen or lower back
You feel nauseous or develop a fever
These symptoms might point towards a more serious condition like testicular torsion, testicular cancer or testicular infection. Seek medical care immediately if the pain in your groin is followed by even a single of these symptoms. Intense testicular pain that shoots up quickly must require emergency treatment.
For the accurate diagnosis of the condition, the doctor might require additional tests like:
Rectal exam for examining the prostate secretions
After the doctor has diagnosed the reason for the dull ache in groin you are having, he/she will begin treatment which might include:
Treating infection with antibiotics
In case if testicular torsion, surgery for untwisting the testicles
Reducing fluid accumulation in the testicles via surgery