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The Sex Doctor: BE ON THE BALL; ISSUE OF THE WEEK: WHY TESTICLES CAN HURT.

Byline: Dr Catherine Hood

MEN closely guard the family jewels - their testicles - the seat of their fertility and physically their most vulnerable spot. But if your testicles start to hurt without good reason it's time to present them to your GP...

THE TESTICLES

FEEL the scrotum and you'll find two smooth oval testicles, one usually bigger than the other and one often hanging lower. This is normal. At the back of these there are tubes called the epididymis that store the sperm produced by the testicles.

INFECTION

SEXUALLY transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea can be to blame for a painfully red scrotum. Bacteria from the urinary system can also infect the testicles and epididymis, while the mumps virus can cause infections. Antiobiotics, rest and pain killers usually help deal with most infections.

TRAPPED

IF one testicle is twisted too much, the blood supply can be cut off, causing sudden swelling and pain. In severe cases it may lead to surgery.

BAG OF WORMS

VARICOSE veins of the scrotum can be removed if they ache. They feel like lots of diffuse tubes, or a bag of worms.

FLUID

A BUILD-UP of fluid around the testicles can cause them to ache. This can occur spontaneously or after an injury.

KIDNEY STONES

PAIN from kidney stones can be felt in the scrotum even if there's no problem with the balls themselves.

LACK OF USE

SEXUAL arousal that doesn't end in ejaculation can make the balls ache. Relieve by masturbation.

CANCER

GET any scrotal lumps checked out immediately.

CAPTION(S):

PAIN: If they hurt see your GP
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 14, 2004
Words:264
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