Testicular Disorders

Testicular trauma

One of the most common problems is trauma to the testes. As the testes are located within the scrotum, which hangs outside of the body, they do not have the protection of muscles and bones. This makes it easier for the testes to be struck, hit, kicked or crushed, which occurs most often during contact sports.  Trauma to the testes can cause severe pain, bruising and/or swelling.

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Testicular cancer

There are different types of testicular cancer and are classified by the type of cells the cancer begins in.

The most common type of testicular cancer is “germ cell testicular cancer”, which accounts for around 95% of all cases. Germ cells are a type of cell that the body uses to create sperm.

The exact cause or causes of testicular cancer are unknown, but a number of factors have been identified that increase a man’s risk of developing it. The three main risk factors are:

  1. Family History
  2. Previous Cancer History
  3. Undescended testicles – click for more information 


Testicular torsion

Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum as well as securing the testicles to the scrotum. The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling.

This type of disorder is very serious and requires emergency intervention as prolonged reduction in blood flow can lead to permanent damage of the testicle, which may mean it will need to be removed.



Epididymitis is inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is the coiled tube that lies on and behind each testicle. It functions in the transport, storage and maturation of sperm cells that are produced in the testicles. The epididymis connects the testicles with the vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm).



Hypogonadism occurs when the testicles (gonads) do not produce enough testosterone. Primary hypogonadism occurs when there is a problem or abnormality in the testicles themselves. Secondary hypogonadism occurs when there is a problem with the pituitary gland in the brain, which sends chemical messages to the testicles to produce testosterone.



Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicles. It can be caused by either bacteria or a virus.

Both testicles may be affected by orchitis at the same time. However, the symptoms usually appear in just one testicle.

This kind of testicular inflammation is often associated with the mumps virus.



A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles (scrotum). 

Varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility. However, not all varicoceles affect sperm production. Varicoceles can also cause testicles to fail to develop normally or shrink.



A hydrocele is a type of swelling in the scrotum that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath surrounding a testicle. Hydrocele is common in newborns and usually disappears without treatment by age 1. Older boys and adult men can develop a hydrocele due to inflammation or injury within the scrotum.