Ruptured Testicle

A ruptured testicle is a health emergency that happens when the membrane holding the testicle breaks. Testicular rupture can occur with blunt force to your scrotum or a penetrating injury. The injury often requires surgical repair, and sometimes your testicle must be removed. You can maintain fertility with only one healthy testicle.


What is a ruptured testicle?

A ruptured testicle is a health emergency that happens when the membrane covering a testicle breaks. It can occur when:

  • Something pierces your scrotum.
  • Your testicle is hit very hard.
  • Your testicle gets crushed against abone in your pelvis.

Testicles are a pair of organs that make hormones and sperm in people assigned male at birth. They’re located in your scrotum, a sack of skin that hangs away from your penis. Each testicle is covered by a membrane called the tunica albuginea. And each testicle contains seminiferous tubules, which are the structures where sperm is made.

Because your testicles aren’t protected by muscles or bones, they can be injured easily. When a testicle ruptures, the tunica albuginea breaks and the seminiferous tubules stick out.

It’s important to seek medical attention quickly if you think you might have a ruptured testicle.


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Who might have a testicular rupture?

Anyone assigned male at birth can experience a ruptured testicle. It’s more common in adolescents and young adults who play sports.

How common is a ruptured testicle?

Although testicle injuries are relatively common, rupture is not.

How much force does it take to rupture a testicle?

A force of 50 pounds or more can rupture a testicle.

Symptoms and Causes

What causes a ruptured testicle?

Testicular rupture occurs with trauma (injury). It may be blunt force or a penetrating injury, including:

  • Bite.
  • Gunshot wound.
  • Impact from a fall or a vehicle crash.
  • Kick to your groin.
  • Object hitting your testicle at high speed (for example, a ball or puck used in sports).
  • Stab wound.


What are the symptoms of a ruptured testicle?

A ruptured testicle causes severe pain and swelling in your scrotum.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a ruptured testicle diagnosed?

If you experience injury to your scrotum or testicular pain, seek medical attention. You can visit your primary care provider, a urologist or the emergency department.

A healthcare provider will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a physical examination of the entire area.

They may order an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of structures inside your body. During a testicular ultrasound, a healthcare provider will:

  • Apply gel to your scrotum.
  • Gently press an ultrasound wand on different areas of your scrotum at various angles.
  • Take images of your injured testicle and your other testicle for comparison.

Sometimes other tests like an MRI are needed.

They also may order a urine test (urinalysis) to check for signs of infection or disease.

It’s important to get a prompt diagnosis and to differentiate a ruptured testicle from other testicular disorders and problems, such as:


Management and Treatment

How is a ruptured testicle treated?

Most cases of testicular rupture require surgery to:

  • Control bleeding.
  • Repair tears.
  • Remove tissue that can’t be fixed.

During ruptured testicle surgery, a surgeon will:

  1. Administer anesthesia so that you aren’t awake for the surgery.
  2. Make an incision (cut) in your scrotum.
  3. Check your testicle and nearby structures.
  4. Close any tears with stitches that will dissolve shortly after surgery.
  5. Sometimes, place a temporary tube to drain blood and other fluids from your scrotum.

Sometimes a ruptured testicle can't be repaired and must be removed.


How can I reduce my risk of testicular rupture?

To prevent injury to your testicles:

  • Wear a cup (sometimes called a jockstrap or athletic supporter) when playing sports. Make sure the cup fits properly.
  • Drive safely, and always wear a seatbelt.
  • Be careful when handling guns.

Outlook / Prognosis

How long does a ruptured testicle take to heal?

It can take several weeks to a couple of months to recover from testicular rupture. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you:

  • Avoid physical activity, contact sports, sexual activity or heavy lifting for several weeks.
  • Follow up with a urologist to assess healing.
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control pain and reduce swelling.
  • Wear a jockstrap during recovery to support and protect your testicles.

Will a ruptured testicle make me infertile?

One testicle is usually sufficient for you to produce sperm and maintain fertility. So if your other testicle is healthy, you should be able to conceive.

Living With

When should I seek medical attention for testicular injury?

Seek prompt medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms after injury to the testicles or scrotum:

  • Blood in your urine (hematuria).
  • Bruising.
  • Fever.
  • Pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse.
  • Swelling.
  • Trouble peeing.
  • Unusual lump or bump in the area.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A ruptured testicle is a health emergency often requiring surgery. If you’ve experienced an injury to your scrotum, contact your healthcare provider, a urologist or an emergency department.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 06/06/2022.

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