Medical Q&As

Testicular pain - lump present?

My boyfriend is 26 years old and over the last couple of weeks he has been experiencing a dull pain in his groin and underneath his testicles. He also thought he found a lump in the testicles but after felling around said he felt the same on the other side. He is really worried about this and the dull pain is coming and going. What could be wrong and what should he do?

Your boyfriend needs to be examined by his GP in order to confirm if a lump is present in his testicles or not. In my experience many men that present to their GPs with suspected testicular lumps are perfectly well and healthy and are feeling normal bumps and lumps that are simply a feature of the normal male anatomy. Whenever a man presents to me with a lump in his genitalia I always ask him to locate the lump himself so that I know exactly what he is feeling and what he considers to be abnormal. I usually find that the man is feeling the lower tip of the epididymis or some other normal feature of his anatomy and that no sinister lump is present. I suspect that this will also be the case with your boyfriend but do I recommend that he visit his GP for confirmation of that fact. The list of possible causes of a dull ache in the region of the genitalia is quite diverse and ranges from groin strain to trauma, from infection to malignancy and even a simple matter like changing the style of ones underwear. For example briefs provide sling-like support for the scrotum whereas boxer shorts provide no support at all. Therefore if a man has changed from wearing briefs to shorts the genitalia may not be as well supported as they were previously, which could contribute to groin discomfort. In making these comments I should point out that boxer shorts are generally recommended above briefs because they permit greater circulation of air around the genitalia, which helps to maintain the temperature of the testicles one degree lower than the core body temperature. This is an n important consideration in relation to normal sperm production. In summary it is unlikely that your boyfriend has a serious or sinister problem but he should be examined by his GP for proper reassurance.