Scrotal Pain

Is this your symptom?

  • Pain or tenderness in the scrotum or testicle

Some Basics...

  • Pain in the scrotum is not normal.
  • All men with severe pain, or constant pain lasting more than one hour, should see a doctor right away.
  • Men with scrotal pain that comes and goes for more than a day should also see a doctor for an exam.


There are many things that can cause pain in the scrotal area or testicle.

  • Epididymitis
  • Hydrocele
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Lymph node in the groin
  • Orchitis
  • Varicocele

Two serious causes of scrotal pain are torsion and strangulated inguinal hernia.

  • Torsion of testis: If a testicle (testis) turns or twists inside the scrotal sac, it can twist the blood vessels that are joined to it. This can cut off the blood supply to the testicle. This is called torsion of the testis (or testicle). The main symptoms are pain and swelling of a testicle. This is a medical emergency. If this is not fixed quickly, it can cause the testicle to die.
  • Strangulated inguinal hernia: An inguinal hernia is a small piece of bowel (gut) that pushes up through a weak spot in the muscles in the groin area. It feels like a soft bulge in the groin that pops in and out. A strangulated inguinal hernia means the hernia gets stuck, and its blood supply is cut off. This can cause severe belly and groin pain. This is a medical emergency. If it is not fixed quickly, it can cause the trapped area of bowel to die.

Pain Scale

  • None: No pain. Pain score is 0 on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Mild: The pain does not keep you from work, school, or other normal activities. Pain score is 1-3 on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Moderate: The pain keeps you from working or going to school. It wakes you up from sleep. Pain score is 4-7 on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Severe: The pain is very bad. It may be worse than any pain you have had before. It keeps you from doing any normal activities. Pain score is 8-10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

When to Call for Scrotal Pain

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Constant pain in scrotum or testicle lasts more than 1 hour
  • Swollen scrotum
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Scrotal pains come and go, and last more than 24 hours
  • Blood in urine (red, pink, or tea-colored)
  • Blood in semen
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Looks like a boil, infected sore, or other infected rash
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Mild scrotal pain
  • Scrotal pains come and go, and last less than 24 hours

Care Advice

  1. Pain Medicine:
    • You can take one of the following drugs if you have pain: acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve).
    • They are over-the-counter (OTC) pain drugs. You can buy them at the drugstore.
    • Use the lowest amount of a drug that makes your pain feel better.
    • Acetaminophen is safer than ibuprofen or naproxen in people over 65 years old.
    • Read the instructions and warnings on the package insert for all medicines you take.
  2. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Severe pain
    • Constant pain lasts over 1 hour
    • Pain comes and goes and lasts more than 24 hours
    • Swelling or redness occurs
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 10/11/2023 1:00:53 AM
Last Updated: 4/13/2023 1:00:45 AM

Copyright 2023.

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