A Twisted Cautionary Tale: The Truths of Testicular Torsion

For many men, there are very few things that are more painful than taking a shot to the testicles. Unless one of your testicles decides to move around and twist inside your scrotum. This is the definition of testicular torsion and it can happen to any man so it is a good idea to prepare yourself just in case. 

Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord, which provides blood flow to the testicle, rotates and becomes twisted. The twisting cuts off the testicle's blood supply and causes sudden pain and severe swelling. Michael P. Zahalsky, MD who is the founder of Z Urology paints a vivid picture of how testicular torsion disturbs the body. Zahalsky compares testicular torsion to apple picking; “To pick the apple you need to twist the stem until the apple comes off. That can happen with testicular torsion - it’s twisted until the testicle dies.”

Testicular torsion can happen from a variety of activities such as running or biking. Basically anytime a males testicles flail around so much they twist up.  However, the most common testicular torsion causes are from random, spontaneous movements or blows to the testicles.

What do you do if you experience pain or testicular torsion symptoms? Don’t ignore it! “If the pain lasts longer than 15 minutes, go to the ER. If your balls are getting larger, go to the ER. When in doubt just go to the ER. There’s about a four-hour window before it can be in real danger,” says Dr. Jame V. Brahmbhastt, MD from Orlando Health Urology Department.

The best way to avoid testicular torsion is to wear jocks or compression boxer briefs while working out. Zahalsky recommends, “you want to wear something that will stop the bounce.” Long story short the best way to limit your risk and protect your boys is to wear compression underwear to limit jiggling and keep your testicles close, ultimately reducing the risk of injury.