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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.
How common are injuries to the testicles?
Injuries, especially serious injuries, are not that common. But it's important to know they can happen and how to take steps to prevent them. And it's extra important if you regularly take part in activities than can cause these injuries.
Taking part in certain sports such as soccer, basketball, or baseball can put you at risk. So can intense exercise, weight lifting, and other activities that put stress on the groin area. But there are ways to protect the groin area and reduce the risk of a serious injury to your testicles.
When should I see a doctor?
Some injuries can be serious and may even need emergency treatment. See the doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
The injury went through the scrotum.
Pain doesn't ease up after an hour.
You continue to feel nauseous or continue to vomit.
There is bruising or swelling of the scrotum or the scrotum fills with fluid.
You have difficulty urinating.
There is blood in your urine.
You have fever after an injury to the testicles.
You notice pain in your testicles without recalling an injury.