What is testicular pain?

Testicular pain is a condition that can affect males at any age. The testicles (testes) are small egg-shaped reproductive (sex) organs inside a thin pouch of skin called the scrotum.

If you have testicular pain, you may feel it in one or both testicles. However, the pain may not actually be coming from your testicles themselves. The pain may be coming from another part of your body such as the stomach or groin. This type of pain is called referred pain.

Testicular pain can be either acute (sudden and short) or chronic (gradual and long-lasting). Aside from the sharp pain of sudden injury, your first symptom might be a dull ache that increases with time or with activity. Testicular pain can be severe because the testicles have many sensitive nerves.

You should get medical care if your pain lasts longer than an hour or if it’s unusually intense, as this could be a sign of an emergency condition called testicular torsion.

Who’s most at risk?

Boys and men of any age can get testicular pain. You may be at a higher risk for testicular pain if you do heavy physical work or if you play full-contact sports.

Is testicular pain a warning sign of testicular cancer?

Testicular pain can be a possible sign of testicular cancer, so if you don’t know why you have testicular pain be sure to seek medical attention.

Can testicular pain be caused by a sexually transmitted infection?

Sexually transmitted infections (like gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia) can affect multiple body parts, including the testicles. This can cause the testicles to become swollen or inflamed (a painful, burning feeling).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/28/2016.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy