The testes are an important part of the human reproductive system and are susceptible to injuries as well as internal problems. One such problem which is known to afflict younger men mostly from the age of 12 to 16 is testicular torsion. It can affect older men, but is commonly seen in the aforementioned age group. It is a painful condition that will require medical attention and if left untreated might even result in removal of the organ in rare cases.
What is testicular torsion?
There are many intricate functions performed by multiple blood vessels within the scrotum that supply the testes with blood. However, one of the testicles might rotate and thus end up twisting the spermatic cord. This cord brings blood to the testicles and if twisted, will reduce the flow of blood significantly. Thus the scrotum may swell up and also become quite painful.
Symptoms of testicular torsion
1. Significant swelling of the scrotum
2. Mild to extreme pain in the scrotum.
3. Abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen
4. Unusually positioned testicle such as one significantly higher, behind, or in front of the other one.
6. Feeling nauseated and may be accompanied by vomiting
7. Pain during urination
8. Inability to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night due to the constant pain
What causes testicular torsion?
In certain cases, testicular torsion may occur and then go away on its own when the testicle rotates, resulting in the untwisting of the spermatic cord (which is also known as de-torsion). However, it is still advisable to visit a doctor and ascertain what caused it so that the risk factor could be eliminated as torsion and de-torsion could keep happening frequently. Some of the common causes for testicular torsion are mentioned below.
- Hereditary factors: If someone in your family has suffered from this condition, you could be susceptible to it.
- Injuries: If you receive minor trauma such as the one during playing any kind of contact sports, outdoor activities or even while doing house work, it can be a reason of this condition as well.
- Activities that put stress on the scrotum: Heavy exercising or running in an unbalanced or improper manner can cause torsion as well.
- Improper sleeping positions: This can also cause torsion and is a common cause behind frequent torsion and de-torsion.
- Other factors: These factors can include excessively cold temperatures wherein the scrotum contracts rapidly and prolonged contraction can cause torsion. Even the rapid growth of the scrotum during the adolescent years after puberty may cause this. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.