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Testicular Pain (cont.)

How Is the Cause of Testicular Pain, Discomfort, and Swelling Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose the underlying cause of testicular pain, the health-care professional will conduct a complete history and physical exam. The physical exam will focus on examining the following areas:

  • Abdomen/groin
  • Penis
  • Testicles
  • Scrotum

Laboratory tests that may be useful in helping make the diagnosis include:

In many cases, in order to help determine the cause of the testicular pain, an imaging study also may be ordered at the discretion of the health-care professional. In some cases after examining the patient, the health-care professional may have such a high degree of suspicion that testicular torsion is present, that no imaging tests will be ordered and the individual will be taken straight to the operating room.

Testicular ultrasound: This non-invasive test can evaluate the blood flow to the testicle (if testicular torsion is suspected), in addition to helping diagnose other anatomical abnormalities within the scrotum that can cause testicular pain, including the following:

  • Testicular rupture
  • Hematocele (a collection of blood)
  • Abscess (a collection of pus)
  • Testicular tumor
  • Inguinal hernia

In cases of epididymitis, testicular ultrasound may reveal an inflamed epididymis with increased blood flow to this structure.

Nuclear scan: Some hospitals may perform this test to help evaluate the cause of testicular pain. It is non-invasive, although it does require the injection of radioactive dye through an IV line.

  • A nuclear scan will diagnose testicular torsion by showing decreased accumulation of dye in the affected testicle compared to the normal testicle.
  • In many hospitals, the time required to prepare the materials and perform a nuclear scan is so lengthy that it is not practical when testicular torsion is suspected.

Which Types of Doctors Treat the Condition?

Certain uncomplicated conditions leading to testicular pain can be managed by your primary care doctor or internist. However, depending on the underlying cause, a specialist may need to become involved in the management of your condition. The specialists may include the following:

  • Urologists
  • General Surgeons
  • Oncologists

When Should I Call the Doctor?

  • Males should view testicular pain as an emergency until proven otherwise.
  • Promptly call your doctor or other health care professional if you or your child develops testicular pain.
  • If you cannot contact a doctor or health care professional, go directly to a hospital's emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Testicular Trauma »

Despite the vulnerable position of the testicles, testicular trauma is relatively uncommon.

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