Most guys will experience “blue balls” at some point. While it’s not a cause for concern, it can be very uncomfortable.
The pain associated with blue balls results from a build-up of blood in the penis and testicles. This occurs during sexual arousal and is only relieved through orgasm or ejaculation.
Varicoceles occur when veins in the scrotum twist and enlarge, sometimes making them look like a bag of worms or spaghetti. They’re not dangerous, but they can cause a lot of pain. They can be difficult to diagnose, but a doctor can palpate (feel) the scrotum and testicles to try to find out what’s causing them to enlarge. The Valsalva maneuver, where a person holds their breath and bears down while standing, is one way to help doctors identify enlarged veins in the scrotum.
Varicocele happens mostly in men, and it’s usually harmless. It’s similar to varicose veins in the legs, except it occurs in a more private place and doesn’t affect a guy’s ability to father children later in life. It’s also more common during puberty, and it may affect the way a guy gets an erection.
The scrotum contains a lot of nerves, so a lot of things can cause pain there. Some of them are harmless and won’t last long, but others could be serious and need immediate treatment. In the case of painful ejaculation, it may be a sign of a more severe problem, such as a testicular torsion, which is considered a medical emergency and needs immediate treatment. A doctor can tell you what’s causing your testicles to hurt and recommend the right treatment.
A person can experience sexual trauma if they are exposed to an unwanted sexual encounter and feel intense fear or anxiety as a result. This feeling is also known as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and it can cause symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, and distressing physical responses. The fear may be triggered by a single event or a series of events that happen over time. In many cases, a person can overcome these symptoms by seeking treatment from a therapist.
While it is usually a joke, “blue balls” does exist as a real condition that causes pain and tenderness of the testicles and scrotum. The symptom is caused by an increase in blood flow to the testicles during sexual arousal. This can cause a buildup of pressure in the epididymis, which is a coiled tube that joins the site of sperm production to a tube called the vas deferens that leads to the outside world. As a result, the epididymis can become enlarged and the scrotum can take on a blueish color.
The good news is that it is not a medical emergency and it will resolve on its own once the scrotum returns to normal. The pain and sensitivity should ease once the testicles have ejaculated or a man stops feeling aroused. In the meantime, a person can take over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms.
A medical condition called blue balls, or epididymal hypertension, can cause scrotal and testicular pain. It is caused by prolonged sexual arousal without sexual release (orgasm). The pain from blue balls usually goes away within 1 hour of the end of sex or masturbation. It is a sign of an underlying problem with your penis or testicles and may need medical treatment.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor might order an ultrasound to check blood flow and look for clots in your varicose veins. This painless procedure involves passing a handheld device that emits sound waves over the area of your legs with varicose veins. A computer then converts these sound waves into pictures of your arteries and veins. Your doctor may also order a duplex ultrasound to get more detailed images of your leg veins.
Your doctor will probably prescribe pain medicine and recommend lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms. These include avoiding prolonged periods of standing or sitting, elevating your feet several times a day, and wearing compression socks or stockings. These help improve blood flow and decrease swelling.
If you have severe varicose veins, your doctor may recommend a surgical treatment. This procedure is called ligation and stripping. It is performed under local anesthesia. The surgeon makes cuts in your skin and then removes the varicose vein through these incisions. You might need more than one procedure to remove all of your varicose veins.
During sexual arousal, blood flow to the penis and testicles increases. This can cause a condition called “blue balls.” Usually, the pain caused by this is not serious and goes away with time. However, in some cases the pain may be more severe. If you have severe pain in the groin or scrotum, it is important to see your doctor right away.
Severe pain in one of the testicles can indicate that something is wrong with the spermatic cord. The spermatic cord supplies the testicle with blood. If the cord becomes twisted, it can cut off the testicle’s blood supply and cause severe pain and swelling. If the symptom is not treated within four hours, it can lead to permanent damage or loss of the testicle.
A doctor can untwist the cord and restore blood flow to the testicle. The doctor can also check for any fluid buildup in the scrotum that could be causing the pain. If there is no fluid buildup, the symptom is not related to torsion and is probably caused by masturbation or other causes of pelvic congestion.
Most achy balls are not caused by serious medical conditions. However, if you have achy balls every time you ejaculate, it is worth discussing with your health care provider. If the problem persists, it may be worth seeing a specialist — a urologist.