Why Does a Kick to The Testicles Hurt So Much?

A kick to the testicles isn't a common occurrence, but when it does happen, it causes disabling pain. Fortunately, this type of episode doesn't usually have serious health consequences.
Why Does a Kick to The Testicles Hurt So Much?

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 27 May, 2022

A kick in the testicles is one of those experiences no man wants to go through. A blow in that area leaves anyone doubled over in pain. Experts say that in such cases, it’s as if the body goes a little crazy.

Nevertheless, a kick to the testicles seldom has serious consequences, unless it’s too strong. This area is very sensitive, but it also has the ability to recover quickly, without complications.

However, strong trauma can have serious consequences. Therefore, it’s best to prevent this type of blow. It’s also important to know what to do in case they occur. We’ll talk about all of this in a moment.

Why does it hurt so much?

A man hunched over, holding onto his groin.
The testicles contain different nerve endings and, for this reason, a kick to the testicles hurts so much.

Many people wonder why a kick to the testicles hurts so much. The fundamental reason is that this small area has a much higher concentration of nerve endings than other areas of the body.

Such nerve endings converge on the vagus nerve, which is considered a “super highway” in the body. This causes pain to reach other areas and produces that sort of “temporary insanity” in the body.

At the same time, the testicles are weakly attached to the body. They’re only covered by a protective layer called the tunica albuginea and enclosed in a sac called the scrotum. Therefore, they have no cushioning and the resistance they offer to a blow is very limited.

Why does it cause pain in the abdomen?

A kick to the testicles produces pain in the abdomen. Why? The testicles begin to form in the abdomen and, from there, they descend to their final position. The nerve endings of the gonads converge in the abdomen.

Therefore, when a blow is received in the testicles, the pain ends up concentrating in the abdomen. Everything converges in the vagus nerve that has ramifications in that entire area and a large area of the upper part of the body.

That’s also the reason why a kick to the testicles not only produces pain in the abdomen but also nausea and vomiting may occur. Also, when the pain is very intense, there will be dizziness, tearfulness, increased blood pressure, and headache.

What are the consequences of a kick to the testicles?

A kick to the testicles can have serious consequences if it’s very powerful. If the pain doesn’t disappear within 15 to 60 minutes, the best thing to do is to go to an emergency center to be evaluated.

You may also be interested in: What Is Cryptorchidism or Undescended Testicles?

On some occasions, this type of blows cause serious consequences such as the following:

  • Epididymitis. This is one of the most frequent effects of a strong kick to the testicles. It’s the inflammation of the epididymis, the portion that joins the testicle to the vas deferens. This causes pain and inflammation but usually subsides spontaneously.
  • Displacement of the testicle. Occurs when the blow causes the testicle to re-enter the body and lie on top of the hip. As a result, the testicle can no longer be felt. This is a medical emergency.
  • Testicular torsion. The kick can cause the testicle to rise and rotate, causing torsion of the spermatic cord. The result is severe pain, swelling, and the placement of one testicle above the other. A doctor should be consulted within six hours.
  • Rupture of the testicle. This is uncommon and is caused by an extremely strong blow. It causes a lot of pain, noticeable swelling, a desire to vomit, and, sometimes, fainting. It’s a medical emergency requiring surgery.

Who’s at risk of a kick to the testicles?

A man getting hit in the testicles with a tennis ball.
If you practice sport regularly, you should use a protection in the testicular area.

Injuries to the testicles, especially serious ones, are rare. However, they can occur, and therefore, appropriate measures should be taken to prevent them. Athletes are more prone to this type of problem.

In some sports, it’s more common to receive a kick or blow to the testicles. Those who play soccer, basketball, or baseball should be more careful. So should those who lift weights or do very demanding exercise routines.

Tips and prevention of a kick to the testicles

Pain is inevitable when you get kicked in the testicles. The discomfort shouldn’t last for more than an hour. In the meantime, some simple actions can be carried out to alleviate the ailment.

Most often, doctors recommend the following:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Lie down and relax.
  • Put an ice pack on the area to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Place a rolled towel under the testicle at bedtime.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for the next few days.
  • Wear supportive underwear for the next few days to support the testicle.

The best thing, in any case, is to prevent one of these blows and, of course, the consequences that may result from it. If a man regularly engages in intense physical activity, it’s best to take note of the following precautions:

  • Use a testicular protector or sports jockstrap. These devices provide good protection. They must be the correct size, otherwise, they won’t perform their function properly.
  • Ask about additional accessories. Your doctor or trainer may suggest other types of additional protectors, depending on the activity or sport you’re doing.
  • Keep your doctor informed. Pain in the testicles, even if you haven’t received a blow, is cause for consultation. Such discomfort should never be overlooked.

When faced with pain, go to the doctor

Pain is an important symptom to watch out for. If, after a kick in the testicles, the pain is too intense or doesn’t subside with the passing of some minutes, it’s always best to go to a health center to be evaluated.

Nausea or vomiting that doesn’t subside, as well as a hematoma in the scrotum, difficulty urinating, hematuria or blood in the urine, and fever are also signs that it may be an emergency. At the same time, it’s important to be cautious with sexual practices that include testicular contact.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Casal, J., Solari, J. J., & Monserrat, J. M. (1965). Epitelioma del escroto. Revista Argentina de Urología, 34(9-12), 661-665.
  • Vaglica, A. C. (1980). Estallido traumático de testículo. Revista Argentina de Urología, 46(1), 30.
  • Calabia de Diego, A., López Rasines, G., Hernández Rodríguez, R., Marco de Lucas, E., Lastra García-Barón, P., & Hernández Castrillo, A. (2003). Lesiones testiculares que no hay que tocar. Archivos españoles de urología, 56(3), 255-266.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.