Testicle injury (eeeewwwww)
May 11, 2006 7:27 AM   Subscribe

My right testicle hurts and I'm not sure if it's twisted or not.

Last night I was reading in bed and pulled my knees up, scrunching my right nut in the bunched-up fabric of my boxers. Now I have intermittent, not-unbearable pain emanating from the right testicle up to my stomach area. It is not terrible.

It's like I need to adjust my right testicle but it won't unbind--hard to explain. Is this just aftermarket pain from having hurt it last night, or is there a chance I have twisted it? From what I have read it is not twisted, as there is no swelling and there is not excruciating pain1

I know it's stupid, but I'm hesitant to go see a doctor because I'm stupid, it's awkward, and it doesn't seem that bad. Has anyone else experienced this? Will it just go away? Is it just residual pain from a light injury or did I twist something up and my nut is going to drop off? Should I get an ultrasound to see if there is blood flow?

Thanks for your input. If the pain doesn't subside I will go see a doctor.

1. Twisted testicle

If the spermatic cord becomes twisted, it produces swelling and tenderness on one side of the scrotum. This is known as "torsion of the testicle". It is intensely painful and leads to swelling in the scrotum. If the twist is not reversed, the blood is not able to reach the testicle, which can die as a result. These twists are more common in people who have had a twisted cord before, or who have undescended or underdeveloped testes.

Twisting of the testicle requires an immediate operation to prevent the testicle from dying. If it does die, the testicle may no longer produce sperm and this may affect fertility, although one functioning testicle is usually enough to ensure fertility. During the operation, the other testicle is usually checked and fixed in place to prevent it becoming twisted in the future.
posted by mecran01 to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would imagine you've just positioned yourself in an akward way, and have some residual pain from that. From everything I've heard about torsion, if you'd truly managed to do that there'd be no doubt you'd know it.
posted by jcummings1974 at 7:31 AM on May 11, 2006

It sorta seems like it wants to reposition itself. I hope this happens on its own.
posted by mecran01 at 7:49 AM on May 11, 2006

From my non-scientific observation it's not uncommon to have sporadic low-grade pain both from identifiable events and unknown ones. At least every male friend of mine I have asked about it has said yeah, it has happened to them. We call it Random Nut Pain and once in a while I'll get an instant message from a friend that says only "random nut pain!"
posted by phearlez at 7:54 AM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I recently had the what sound like the same pains you are having. I was really worried for a few days but like you was hesitant to go see a doctor.
The pain did go away in about a week or so. Somedays I would feel it from time to time and other days nothing.
posted by thefinned1 at 7:56 AM on May 11, 2006

Just keep in mind that you are talking about an injury to one of your reproductive organs. If things don't straighten themselves out, get thyself to a hospital :)

But I do agree with jcummings1974: Testicular torsion is something triggers blinding pain and causes immense swelling. So you're probably safe on that front.
posted by SemiSophos at 7:57 AM on May 11, 2006

As an anecdotal data point for you, I had a friend with your symptoms who, like you, avoided seeing a doctor. He now has no left nut (no nut left?).
posted by found missing at 8:00 AM on May 11, 2006

A good treatment and some notes on torsion in general can be found in a post I made about my testicular surgery last year. I have a ton of experience with torsion.

If you're in any doubt - go see a doctor. You don't want to fuck around with testicular necrosis. The best easy treatment is a nice hot bath. Turn it clockwise/counterclockwise a few times while immersed - once you've hit the right position the pain dissipates almost instantly. The pain will get significantly worse if you go too far in either direction.
posted by Ryvar at 8:01 AM on May 11, 2006

Also, "if the pain doesn't subside" is kind of dumb, no offense - either it'll subside when your nut rots or your nut will die before you cave. I was very stupid and very lucky. Cave early, cave often.
posted by Ryvar at 8:04 AM on May 11, 2006

Go and see a doctor. My friend did the same thing after sitting down awkwardly and worried about the pain and weird feeling for 2 days before we made him get it checked out. Doctor told him any longer and he'd have lost it. Doctor, now.
posted by brautigan at 8:23 AM on May 11, 2006

Yeah, what other people have said, if it's twisted and not seen to, it'll die.
posted by essexjan at 8:30 AM on May 11, 2006

Ok, tub rotation then Doctor. I have to see the doctor about something else anyway. The pain is very slight, and not constant. It is good to know this is not uncommon, thank you for the advice. If anyone else has any info I will be checking this thread still.
posted by mecran01 at 8:31 AM on May 11, 2006

BTW, something occurs to me now that I'm thinking about it, and should've been my first thought - since the surgery I've gotten sporadic, but relatively frequent pains in the same area, but more on the order of a really bad headache than the screaming and blacking out of torsion. My urologist said it was tearing of the vas deferens and that I needed some support (apparently my balls are a weighty matter). Switching from boxers to boxer-briefs has mostly solved it.

So it might be possible you have something like that. But go see the doctor anyway.
posted by Ryvar at 8:39 AM on May 11, 2006

[cue AC/DC]

more on the order of a really bad headache than the screaming and blacking out of torsion.
Ouch. My pain is slight and fleeting, so hopefully that is not the case.
posted by mecran01 at 9:20 AM on May 11, 2006

Dude, I've had a twisted testicle, less twisted than anything requiring an operation (according to the urologist who diagnosed this) and that is not a minor pain. It is much like being kicked in the balls but worse. It hurt enough that the pain wasn't even localized to my groin, except for touching it, which was like ringing a bell made of agony. I remember the urologist saying that testicular necrosis can actually kill you and not just the testicle, if the testicle is twisted around far enough. Cheery! By the way, there wasn't a treatment, it corrected itself after a couple days as I recall. So. It's certainly possible that something's wrong down there, and you should see the doctor anyway... I guess brautigan's friend wasn't as disabled with pain as I was, so symptoms probably vary.
posted by furiousthought at 10:14 AM on May 11, 2006

I had something like this happen to me very recently, and went to the emergency room after 24 hours of constant, dull, but managable pain. They checked me out, said I was fine, and sent me home.

Like furiousthought said, the doctor told me that if it was twisted it would REALLY HURT. Also, he said that if blood flow had actually cut off, it would've already started to turn necrotic after 24 hours and I would've noticed.

So yeah, it'll probably go away in a week and you'll be fine.
posted by falconred at 10:20 AM on May 11, 2006

Just to through in a related rumor, I remember reading in a bicycle magazine that some used to believe bike riding (or maybe just certain saddle styles) could lead to twisted testicles.
posted by Rash at 10:23 AM on May 11, 2006

Just another data point: The procedure at the urologists office really isn't any big deal. Go in and let him/her feel you up. It lasts for 20 seconds and is basically a non-issue.
posted by crapples at 11:03 AM on May 11, 2006

through throw
posted by Rash at 11:04 AM on May 11, 2006

So do I go straight to a urologist, or can my general practitioner do this?
posted by craniac at 11:16 AM on May 11, 2006

Metafilter: ringing a bell made of agony.

Yowch. I thought blue balls and NSU were bad.
posted by lalochezia at 11:19 AM on May 11, 2006

It's all been said by now, but when the same thing happened to me (the low-grade pain in the testicle) my doctor told me that testicular torsion was, on a 1-to-10 pain scale, an 11. But this was only after they'd made triple-sure nothing had gone funny with x-rays, ultrasound, and the world's longest index finger.

Derail: lalochezia, what's NSU?
posted by lekvar at 11:42 AM on May 11, 2006

I would point out that a partial tortion, or a tortion that since corrected could have the symptoms you are giving.

When I was a kid I had similar problems. They would just twist for no reason at all, and then fix themselves. Sometimes it would not hurt for long but ache for a while.

When anybody I know starts talking smack about how their peircings hurt when they got them, I just laugh and laugh
posted by Megafly at 12:16 PM on May 11, 2006

which was like ringing a bell made of agony

furiousthought wins
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 2:00 PM on May 11, 2006

NSU is Non-Specific Urethritis. The only guy I ever knew who's had it was a major horn-dog (when he was in his 20s).
posted by Rash at 2:14 PM on May 11, 2006

...and it's also a great song by Cream.
posted by Rash at 2:16 PM on May 11, 2006

Dude, it aint twisted. I twisted one and I was in blinding out of my skull pain. So much so that I thought I hurt my knee and quad! I threw up from stomach pain and cold sweat poured. So much agony that in the emergency room the stab wound guy insisted the nurse take me first. They tried to untwist it by hand - there's no shame in agonyville - but I broke the gurney fold up retraint bar. Four full syringes of morphine later and still the air disturbed by lifting the blanket hit the area and hurt so much I scratched into the sheetrock wall. I think I confessed to killing Kennedy.

They operated within a few minutes. All's cool now. See a doc, Good luck.
posted by Kensational at 5:34 PM on May 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Go get it checked out ASAP'd be my advice.
posted by Dub at 6:09 PM on May 11, 2006

Ok, now I'm impressed. Moral of the story, your balls aren't gonna fall off without you feeling it first. But it could be something else and you should have it checked out to be safe.
posted by furiousthought at 6:40 PM on May 11, 2006

This has been an incredibly disturbing but useful thread. Thank you all. What a great male male bonding exercise:

"now let's all gather round and share moments when we've experienced testicular pain. Bill?"
posted by mecran01 at 9:35 PM on May 11, 2006

Tightie whities rock...so my rocks don't have to roll!

I am amazed this doesn't come up more often, with the popularity of boxers (which I can't wear, having massive balls hanging low). I've had partially twisted balls before, and the doc clued me in on support.

You can twist 'a little' and recover.
posted by Goofyy at 3:48 AM on May 12, 2006

(I forgot to add. Esthetically, I vastly prefer boxers, have for decades, and adore the current fashion.)

Avoid nylon bikinis if you want to reproduce.
posted by Goofyy at 3:51 AM on May 12, 2006

The initial pain, which wasn't really terrible, subsided after 24 hours, but there has been recurring low-level discomfort. I was out of town on two trips, then I finally got it checked out and they are pretty sure it is epeditimitis (sp?) or inflammation of the sperm-producing mechanism. They prescribed a three week course of cipro. I'm just glad it's not cancer.
posted by mecran01 at 8:39 PM on June 28, 2006

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