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    Testicle Injury FAQ

    If you're a young man aged 12 or older who is active in sports or lives an otherwise active life, chances are you know something about getting hit in the balls.

    It may not have happened to you yet. But you've probably seen, or at least heard, that taking a hit in the balls -- testicles to be exact -- does more than knock the wind out of you.

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    Getting hit in the testicles can double you over in pain. It can make you feel sick, even vomit.

    And if you're hit hard enough, it can send you to the hospital. Fortunately, most testicle injuries aren't that serious.

    Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about testicle injuries.

    What are the testicles and why does getting hit there hurt so much?

    The testicles are part of the male reproductive organ. They make sperm and the male sex hormone called testosterone.

    Without testicles, men wouldn't be able to have kids. They'd also look and feel a lot different without testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for many of the male characteristics that make men different from women.

    These important organs hang outside the body in a sac called the scrotum. And since they hang outside the body, they don't have bone or muscle around to protect them like other organs do. That means there is nothing to absorb any of the blow if they happen to get hit. So they take the full force of the hit without any cushion.

    What does it feel like to get hit in the testicles?

    The first symptom is a lot of pain. That may be followed by nausea and sometimes vomiting. Fortunately, the testicles are made of spongy material that typically absorbs the shock without a lot of damage. They are also covered by a tough material that protects the tissue inside.

    With a typical injury, the pain and nausea usually ease in about an hour. And with most injuries, there is no damage to the testicles' ability to produce sperm or the ability to have sex.

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