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Overview of a Painful, Swollen Testicle

A painful, swollen testicle is an automatic red flag. Healthy testicles should be neither painful nor swollen. When a single testicle appears in this manner, medical testing is necessary to diagnose the problem. A testicle that is painful and swollen may occur with other possible STD symptoms such as frequent urination, penile discharge, and burning upon urination.

Fortunately, many conditions, such that cause these symptoms, such as sexually transmitted diseases, are curable.

Possible Causes of a Painful, Swollen Testicles

This symptom is most commonly caused sexually transmitted diseases, particularly gonorrhea. This possible gonorrhea symptom may be accompanied with other symptoms such as unusual discharge, burning with urination, and frequent urination.

Causes of testicular swelling and discomfort may include the following:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Epididymitis (a possible complication of untreated STDs)
  • Orchitis (another possible complication of untreated STDs)
  • Urinary tract infection, also known as urethritis

Diagnosing a Painful, Swollen Testicle

When experiencing genital discomfort or scrotal pain, STD testing can provide a diagnosis. Gonorrhea most often causes these symptoms but other STDs, like chlamydia, can cause similar symptoms. If you may have been exposed to STDs, a complete and thorough STD screen is recommended.

Gonorrhea testing and STD testing is easy, painless, and can provide a diagnosis within a few short days. Private STD testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia is available at a local lab or through at-home STD testing. Testing is performed through a painless urine sample, so there is no swabbing involved.

If you are not at risk for STDs, talk to a doctor further diagnosis. Keep in mind, oral sex isn’t safe sex and can still transmit gonorrhea and other STDs.

Treating a Painful, Swollen Testicle

A testicle that is painful, sore or swollen can be cured with treatment depending on the diagnosis, however most causes can be cured with antibiotics. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are all treated through antibiotics. Testing must be administered to determine which antibiotic is required; each STD requires a different form of treatment. Symptoms should subside a few days after beginning treatment.

Epididymitis and orchitis are complications of STD are also treated by antibiotics. Urinary tract infections in men are not necessarily caused by sex (but can be), but are similarly treated with antibiotics.

Be sure to avoid any sexual activity until the cause is diagnosed and treatment is completed. Also, make sure any partners who may have been exposed are tested and treated to avoid reinfection.

About STDs Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common bacterial STDs. The CDC estimates 2.86 million cases of chlamydia occur annually, while another 820,000 cases of gonorrhea are projected.

It's important to note that chlamydia and gonorrhea often occur without producing noticeable symptoms. When STD symptoms, such as painful swollen testicles or discharge, are present, STD testing should always be administered. However, STD testing is important even when feeling healthy since these common STDs can be asymptomatic. A yearly STD test for chlamydia and gonorrhea is recommended for all at-risk individuals.

Written and researched by Abby Morgan


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