When a testicle rotates and twists the spermatic cord that allows blood to flow to the scrotum, this is known as testicular torsion. The sudden loss of blood flow causes pain and swelling. While this condition can occur in males of any age, it is most common in young men between the ages of 12 and 18.
In some cases, men and boys who experience this condition have an inherited (passed down in families) gene that causes one or both of their testicles to freely rotate within the scrotum. Other potential causes of testicular torsion can include:
- Being exposed to very cold temperatures
- Minor injury to the testicles
- Rapid growth and development of the testicle during puberty
- Vigorous physical activity
Signs and symptoms of testicular torsion may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Needing to urinate more frequently than usual
- Pain in the abdomen
- Severe, sudden pain in the scrotum (loose bag of skin behind the penis that holds the testicles)
- Swelling of the scrotum
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