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Chronic Testicular Pain

New Treatments for a Better Quality of Life

Thousands of men suffer from chronic testicular pain (CTP), a disabling condition that can cause either intermittent or constant symptoms. Most testicular pain is considered chronic if the patient has had symptoms for at least three months. Approximately 25% of testicular pain has no known cause. Sometimes CTP comes on suddenly or it can also develop slowly over time. Sudden testicle pain can be the sign of an emergency and should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.


Living with CTP is different from one man to the next. Some men with CTP have constant pain, while others have pain that comes and goes. Some men only have pain during physical activities, while others only have pain when the testicle is touched or examined. The pain may be in one testicle, in both, or change from side to side. In some men, pain in the epididymis (a crescent-shaped organ around the testicle that is responsible for sperm transport and storage) is mistaken for chronic testicular pain.

CTP can interfere with normal, daily living and the ability to work. Anyone who has suffered CTP knows the frustration of going from doctor to doctor trying to find a treatment that works. Our physicians offer state-of-the-art treatments and are dedicated to helping patients who suffer from CTP so that they can restore their quality of life.

Men describe the sensations of CTP in many ways. It can feel like burning, aching, pressure, throbbing, heaviness, pulling, or a combination. It can also feel like a groin pull. Some men report their CTP occurs in combination with lower back pain or pain in their upper thighs or legs.

Sexual activity can aggravate the pain. CTP may also worsen when sitting for long periods of time, such as at a desk job or driving a truck. Doing heavy lifting, manual work, or even swinging a golf club may trigger CTP in a person who is prone to it.

The following symptoms may accompany testicular pain:

  • Swelling and redness of the testicles and scrotum
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever
  • Painful or burning urination or penile discharge
  • Pain with intercourse or ejaculation
  • Blood in semen or urine

Diagnosing Chronic Testicular Pain

Your urologist will perform a careful, methodical physical examination, which will include your abdomen, testicles, scrotum, and rectum. Laboratory tests such as a blood test and urinalysis may also be performed. A diagnostic test known as a scrotal ultrasound, which is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves, is done to evaluate the blood flow to the testicle and is helpful in diagnosing other conditions such as a hernia, a tumor or an infection that can be a contributing factor to CTP.

Our physicians understand the agony of CTP. No matter the type of testicular pain you have, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. A comprehensive physical evaluation will help determine the origin of the pain so your doctor can develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment for Chronic Testicular Pain

Initial treatment for CTP involves conservative/non-surgical measures such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, pain blocks, or a fentanyl patch, which is a strong narcotic pain reliever applied to the testicle as a patch. However, these treatments only provide temporary relief, and some patients do not like the way they feel when they are on pain medicine for an extended period. They may also be concerned about driving or focusing on work duties while taking the medication.

Until recently, the traditional surgical treatment for unexplained and untreatable CTP has been to remove the epididymis or the testicle (epididymectomy and orchiectomy, respectively). Although this has been an effective CTP treatment for many men, up to 50 to 70% of men still suffer from CTP after this surgery.

Now men can benefit from an advanced surgical procedure called microsurgical denervation of the spermatic cord, also called cord stripping - a life-changing procedure for men searching for relief from chronic testicular pain.

When Should I Seek CTP Treatment?

Sudden testicular pain can signal an emergency and may be a dangerous condition. For sudden testicular pain, seek medical help immediately.

For testicular pain that is chronic, or longer-term, it’s never too soon to seek help. Most conditions that cause CTP can be diagnosed and treated. Waiting can prolong your pain and diminish your quality of life. While sometimes CTP goes away on its own, there is no way to predict if it will go away, or when it may return.

Pain from Other Sources

It is very important to rule out any correctable sources of testicular pain aside from the testicles. For example, some men experience testicular pain because of a slipped disc or other spinal problem. Our urologists carefully evaluate our patients to make sure there are no other correctable causes connected to their chronic testicular pain. When CTP is discovered to be the result of another medical problem, your urologist will refer you to the proper specialist and work closely with that physician to help resolve your pain.

Learn More about Denervation Surgery