Testicular Trauma: Causes & Symptoms - Revere Health

The testicles are a vital part of the male reproductive system, playing a role in reproduction and male hormone production. Due to their location in the scrotum, however, which hangs outside the body, the testicles lack traditional protection structures that most other organs in the body have. This makes them more susceptible to injury.

Testicular trauma refers to anytime a testicle is hurt by force. There are several different types of injuries possible in the testicles, and treatment methods vary between these and the severity of the injury. Here’s a look at the types, symptoms, causes and prevention methods against testicular trauma.

Types:

 

The testicles are made of different types of tissue, and the scrotum contains other structures attached to the testicles. Different types of testicular injuries can include:

  • Rupture: When an injury tears the protective coating surrounding the testicle and damages the testicle.
  • Fracture: When an injury causes the testicular tissue to “break”, either with or without tearing the protective covering.
  • Contusion: When an accident injures blood vessels in the testicle and leads to bleeding and bruising.
  • Torsion: When a tube called the spermatic cord, which contains blood vessels connecting the testicle to the abdomen, is twisted. This can happen due to an injury, or sometimes spontaneously.
  • Hematoceles: When blood collects under a layer of protective covering around the testicle.
  • Dislocation: When an accident pushes the testicle out of the scrotum—often into the abdomen, near the pubic bone over the penis or in other areas near the scrotum.
  • Epididymitis: Trauma can injure the epididymis and lead to inflammation or infection.
  • Infections: Commonly caused by animal bites to the scrotum.
  • Degloving: This is an injury where the scrotum is torn away, similar to the removal of a glove from a hand.

Symptoms and Causes:

 

Extreme pain is typically the first symptom of testicular trauma—in the scrotum, but often in the abdomen as well. Other symptoms might include:

  • Nausea (particularly in cases of testicular torsion)
  • Bruising, swelling or discoloration of the scrotum
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Fever

 

Testicular trauma injuries are caused specifically by penetrating or blunt forces. Penetrating forces include stabbing or gunshot wounds, where blunt forces include a kick or any hard trauma to the scrotum.

Treatment and Prevention

 

After a basic process to determine a positive diagnosis of testicular trauma, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. In some minor cases, testicular injuries can be treated at home on your own. In others, a surgeon or other specialist will need to be involved. Treatments might include:

  • Basic approaches: Ice packs on the scrotum, rest and avoidance of strenuous activity are basic approaches to help limit symptoms.
  • Medication: Painkillers for pain and inflammation, or antibiotics for infections.
  • Jockstrap: To support the testicles during recovery.
  • Surgery: In many cases of testicular injury, surgery is required. This could involve moving the testicle, stitching covering back together, or removing part of all of the testicle in some cases.

It’s not always possible to prevent testicular trauma, but there are a few tactics you can try to help lower your risk in certain situations:

  • Wear a jockstrap: Do this while playing sports, along with a protective cup if you’re taking part in any activity that could lead to a hard strike. Make sure both items fit well and properly cover the penis and testicles.
  • Wear a seatbelt while driving.
  • Use caution on motorcycles and bicycles.
  • Be careful near any machinery that could snag clothing or skin: Be sure to avoid loose clothing and belts.

If you’ve sustained a testicular trauma, your doctor will advise you on the appropriate course of treatment based on your diagnosis.

Our staff offers a variety of services, including in-office PSA testing, a screening for prostate cancer. We work with you and your primary care physician to develop an individualized care plan for you based on the latest technology and research.

 

Sources:

 

“Testicular Injuries.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/testicle-injuries#1

“What is Testicular Trauma?” Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/testicular-trauma/printable-version

 

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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