When you cough, do you feel pain in one of your testicles?

What’s alarming about this is that testicular cancer typically occurs in only one testicle.

So when a new symptom occurs on one side of the body, it is especially worrisome to the individual.

Testicular cancer is not common, affecting over 9,000 U.S. men (most are between 20 and 35, but this disease can strike at any age) per year.

Testicular cancer can cause pain.

However, here is some good news: A pain that’s brought out from coughing is not likely to be a symptom from the tumor.

Hernia Is the More Likely Cause

“I would rule out an inguinal hernia in this patient first,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a board-certified urologist specializing in chronic testicular pain and infertility, and co-founder of Drive 4 Men’s Health, a nonprofit public engagement campaign that has encouraged millions of men to be more active, eat well and get preventive medical screenings.

An inguinal hernia refers to a portion of tissue (e.g., intestinal) that protrudes through a weak area in the abdominal muscles.

This can bring on pain when the patient coughs, picks up a heavy item or even just bends over. The pain can radiate to one testicle.

How is a hernia ruled out?

An inguinal hernia is ruled out via “an exam of the testicle, scrotum and inguinal region with the guy standing and sitting,” says Dr. Brahmbhatt.

“If a hernia is felt we would refer the patient to a general surgeon (urologists in the U.S. do not usually fix hernias). cancer

“If there are no hernias we would get imaging of the scrotum (ultrasound) and maybe even the abdomen.

“If all anatomic problems are ruled out — hernias, varicoceles (enlarged veins in the spermatic cord), hydroceles (fluid collections around the testicle), kidney stones, etc., then we may proceed with a spermatic cord block which would help us rule out issues with the nerves.”

Pain in one testicle that’s there regardless of coughing needs an immediate examination.

Dr. Brahmbhatt is the co-director of the PUR Clinic (Personalized Urology & Robotics) which specializes in urology needs such as vasectomy reversal, groin pain and testicular pain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



­Top image: ©Lorra Garrick