For a teen, what is testicular torsion?

Claire Welch

Testicular torsion is a medical emergency and requires quick medical care! Testicular torsion happens when the testicle rotates on the spermatic cord inside the scrotum. The spermatic cord runs from the male's abdomen to the testicle and contains blood vessels, nerves and the vas deferens (carries sperm from the testicle to the penis). If you ever played tether ball and noticed when you hit the ball it spun on the cord holding it to the pole, well, that is what can happen to the testicle inside the scrotum.

The testicle's support to the body is basically a cord, similar to the tether ball cord. When the spermatic cord is twisted, the blood vessels supplying the testicle and surrounding areas are squeezed and blood can no longer flow through. This cuts off the blood supply and needed oxygen and nutrients to keep the testicle healthy. When this happens, a sudden and intense pain is felt in the testicle. There may also be swelling on that side of the scrotum as well as nausea, vomiting and light headedness.

Since testicular torsion is most common during the first year of life and the beginning of the teenage years, teens should be aware of the symptoms and the need for immediate medical care. Some teens are embarrassed to mention they have pain in the testicles but should never ignore the symptom of pain in the testicle. Quick treatment by a qualified medical professional is necessary to save the testicle from permanent damage.

How does testicular torsion happen? Sometimes, a male is born without adequate support for a testicle and are more prone to testicular torsion. Other times, trauma, exercise or sports can lead to a twisting of the testicle. Whatever the cause, remember that quick medical care is necessary anytime you feel sudden and severe pain in a testicle. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.