Noticing the presence of a swollen testicle or both is a condition that can easily lead the subject to go through a state of strong worry and fear, suspecting that it is a serious pathology.
It is very common to trace the swelling of a testicle to the sign of a tumor, but in reality, it is good to premise immediately that a testicular tumor generally manifests itself with the presence of a lump easily identifiable by palpation of the scrotum and testicles, and which is noted for a much harder consistency than the surrounding tissues.
It is also good to reiterate that testicular cancer is certainly not a widespread disease as feared, and that if treated in time it has very high chances of recovery.
Noticing a swollen, painful and hard testicle can have severe psychological repercussions, fearing for one’s reproductive capacity, one’s virility and one’s sex life.
But if on the one hand the presence of swelling in the testicles causes a strong sense of anxiety, on the other hand the subject often hesitates out of a sense of embarrassment, relying on improbable diagnoses by means of photographs or articles found on the web.
Testicular swellingit can be associated with many other symptoms, in relation to the pathological event underlying the manifestation, such as:
- pain in the testicles and scrotum ;
- hematuria (blood in the urine) ;
- hemospermia (blood in the semen);
- dilated blood vessels clearly visible through the skin of the scrotum.
Furthermore, to the touch the testicle can be hard and rigid and lead to the manifestation of dysuria (difficulty in the act of urination) and stranguria (pain in the act of urinating).
In any case, whether the symptom occurs alone, in the testicles and scrotum, or accompanied by other symptoms, it is recommended to inform your doctor as quickly as possible, who, once the situation has been assessed, will direct you to a specialist visit. more in-depth, usually from an andrology specialist.
In many cases the causeat the base of the symptom in question can be resolved completely, preserving the reproductive capacity and therefore the fertility of the subject, but in other cases a late intervention can irreversibly compromise both fertility and the general health of the subject.
As hinted, the causes of both right and left swollen testicles are many, some of which are easy to resolve, while for others there is a need for more targeted treatments. What are the main causes of swollen testicle
In this paragraph we will list and investigate the main causes of the appearance of a swollen testicle
, confirming from now on the importance of contacting a doctor for an accurate and precise diagnosis.
For a good part of fetal life the testicles are received in the abdominal cavity, and then, generally during the 7th month of gestation, descend into the scrotum through a complex anatomical structure that takes the name of inguinal canal.
It is not uncommon, especially in premature babies, or much more easily as a result of excessive physical exertion, that some structures of the abdomen cross this channel and locate themselves inside the testicles causing swelling and pain , even if the latter it is not always felt by the patient.
On palpation it is easy to notice the presence of an asymmetry and a mass that has a different consistency than the surrounding tissue.
It occurs in subjects in which there has not been the correct closure of the inguinal canal following the passage of the testicles from the abdomen to the scrotum.
This failure to close allows the transit of liquids coming from the abdomen which are normally reabsorbed by the tissues, but which in some subjects, especially children, when the liquid is present in quantity, determines the appearance of a swollen and painful testicle on the right or left . In adults this condition arises as a result of trauma, an infection or a tumor .
It is a venous ectasia, ie a dilation of the veins that make up the so-called pampiniform plexus.
This event occurs much more frequently in the left testicle than in the right , due to the anatomical characteristics of the blood vessels. In varicocele conditions the blood flow is slowed down, its pouring into the renal vein is slower and there is stagnation of blood inside the veins of the testicle, which will appear congested and dilated. Characteristic well observable also through the skin of the scrotum.
The stagnation of blood causes an increase in the temperature of the testicle, and when this exceeds the tolerance threshold of the spermatozoa, the patient runs the risk of suffering serious repercussions on his fertile capacity.
The epididymis is a small structure located posterior to the testicle and which represents the junction between the didymus (testis) and the spermatic ducts, allowing the sperm to flow towards the vas deferens.
This structure is easily subject to inflammation that can be caused both by trauma and by infections affecting the genitourinary tract, and again by sexually transmitted infections (gonorrhea and chlamydia ). Swelling in the testicle, if the cause is infectious in nature, it is easily associated with fever, pain, chills and swollen lymph nodes.
Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicles, similarly for what happens in epididymitis it can be both traumatic and infectious in nature, therefore testicular swelling is associated with fever, chills, hematuria, hemospermia (presence of blood in the sperm), the entire pelvic area may be sore and usually swollen lymph nodes are found.
It is a more frequent condition in adult men, especially from the fifth decade of life onwards .
Torsion of the testicle
This is a real medical-surgical emergency, so it is necessary to intervene within 4-6 of the episode of torsion, otherwise the testicle is lost due to the lack of blood flow to nourish the normal metabolism of the tissues.
This occurrence occurs more frequently as a result of physical efforts of great entity, as a result of strong emotions, trauma or intense sexual intercourse, and consists in the twisting of the gubernaculum ligament which allows the fixity of the testicle inside the scrotal bag. .
As anticipated, the torsion of the testicle compresses the vascular network, causing a progressive suffering that proceeds up to necrosis and therefore to the loss of the testicle. Twisting of the testicle leads to swelling of the testicle and scrotum, due to blood congestion, but is certainly characterized much more by a very intense painful sensation that leads the subject to go to the emergency room quickly.
Let’s turn the page to analyze in detail on which elements the medical diagnosis is based and which are the most effective therapies we have available.
How to make the diagnosis
We reiterate once again the need to consult a doctor in any case, both when the testicle is swollen without other symptoms, and obviously when other symptoms are associated with the swelling.
When, on the other hand, the swellingand sudden and accompanied by very intense pain, it is recommended to seek immediate care in an emergency room, as it could be a testicle torsion. A condition that, as we have seen previously, constitutes a real emergency and that requires immediate intervention.
A medical examination generally consists of a phase of gathering information (anamnesis), when the doctor asks when the symptom arose, how long it persists, if it is accompanied by other symptoms and if the subject had experienced previous episodes.
This phase is followed by the physical examination, that is the moment in which the doctor visually and manually verifies the extent of the problem, then observes if there is the presence of blood vessels clearly visible through the skin of the scrotum (varicocele index), if the affected testicle has a different color from the healthy one, if masses, nodules or hernias are distinguishable on palpation.
On the basis of the information collected, the doctor will evaluate which diagnostic investigations to carry out in order to investigate further on the basis of precise diagnostic suspicions. A blood or urine test will help to detect the presence of an infection, or an ultrasound to check for a hernia or fluid collection in the scrotum.
What are the most effective therapies?
The most effective and suitable therapy will depend on the pathology underlying the swelling of the testicle , therefore it must be prescribed and administered exclusively by a doctor after having read all the investigations carried out and after having reached a diagnosis. precise.
In case of infection, the therapy will eradicate the triggering pathogen by means of antivirals, in the case of viruses, or antibiotics in the case of bacteria. If the cause is strictly inflammatory, therapymay be of a pharmacological nature with the intake of anti-inflammatories. On the other hand, in the case of varicocele, surgery is sometimes necessary to correct the venous alterations, safeguarding the patient’s fertility.
Therefore, it is wary of resorting to any type of do-it-yourself remedies and not to rely on information obtained from any forum or web article. We remind you that your fertility and your general state of health are at risk, so you need the utmost seriousness of treatment.