Each testicle is locateded in a fibrous two-layer coating. Between these two layers there is a small amount of fluid that lubricates them and thus provides a certain degree of mobility. The testicle is tied to the testicular cord so it can not slip from the natural position. However, in some men, this coating is abnormally loose and baggy, and not solid; this may cause testicular torsion. A large torsion can cause an entanglement of veins (that lead to the testicle), the blood will not be able to get out of the organ, and the organ will swell and become painful. Torsion can occur at any time, even when you are sleeping.
If you have testicular torsion you will feel a sudden pain in the testicle, and your scrotum will swell, turn red and become painful to the touch. The intensity of pain varies; the pain may be so strong that you will feel nauseous and vomit. In many cases the torsion is corrected by itself, and the pain weakens.
Testicular torsion is a rare discomfort; only 1 man out of 5000 is being treated annually. It is most common in adolescence, although it is possible at all times, even in infants.
If the torsion is not corrected (and if the patient didn’t ask for a medical tretment), there will be an interruption in the arteries that supply the affected testicle with blood, as well as in the veins, and the gland may shrink.
What to do?
Although it may seem that the torsion is corrected, immediately go to your doctor. The doctor can try to untwist the cord; this is called manual detorsion. Although this procedure will alleviate pain, the torsion can re-occur. Therefore, testicular torsion always requires an operative procedure, usually performed within a few hours after the onset of the discomfort, during which the surgeon sews the testicle to the scrotum. However, due to the loosened coating (which caused the torsion), it is possible that the torsion will occuor on the other testicle, so the surgeon will (in most cases) sew that testicle, too.