Should You Worry If Your Son Complains of Testicle Pain?
Trauma, infection and other medical conditions can lead to pain in a child’s testicles. Learn the causes of scrotum pain — and when it’s an emergency.
While you might be amazed at how often your son talks about genitals, he may be less forthcoming if he’s experiencing scrotum pain.
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Pain there is not uncommon, especially from bumps and bangs. “When kids are playing sports or messing around, they get hit down there quite often,” says pediatric urologist Audrey Rhee, MD.
But persistent pain after a kick or hit can signal trauma that requires urgent medical treatment. Scrotum pain can also be a sign of infections or other medical conditions.
Here’s what you should know about testicular pain — and how to talk about your son’s sore testicles without anyone dying of embarrassment.
Trauma, infection and other medical problems can all lead to pain in a boy’s scrotum, says Dr. Rhee. The most common causes of testicle pain in children include:
It can be hard for kids or parents to figure out the cause of scrotum pain, so if your son is complaining of pain, limping or acting uncomfortable, call your doctor for advice, Dr. Rhee advises.
And if the pain is severe and doesn’t let up, head to urgent care or the emergency room — timely care is crucial for testicular torsion or rupture.
Unfortunately, not all boys are upfront about their pain.
“Young boys are usually pretty quick to say it hurts down there. But as they get older, they’ll often say their leg hurts or their belly hurts,” Dr. Rhee says. “They tend to be vague.”
She recommends treating scrotum injuries just like any other injury: Be matter-of-fact. “A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about genitals, but it’s no different from talking about pain in your child’s arm or leg,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to look for redness or swelling in his groin area, and ask your son to point to the spot where it hurts.”
The sooner you start talking frankly with your son about his genitals, the better, she says. “When kids are young, teach them that if it hurts down there, they need to let you know,” she says. “It might seem uncomfortable to talk about this at first. But it’s the right thing to do and will help your son learn to take care of his body.”