Millions of teens and young men are not wrong: Prolonged sexual arousal without orgasm can lead to testicular pain . Colloquially known as " blue balls ," the condition is common in boys who have just reached puberty, but it can also affect men who restrict ejaculation or experience delayed (impaired) ejaculation.
What are the blue balls?
Blue balls is the slang term for a condition that is sometimes known as epididymal hypertension. Epididymal hypertension is not a diagnosis per se, but rather another term used to characterize scrotal pain associated with prolonged sexual arousal without ejaculation.
Doctors will use the term "acute scrotal pain" more often, since there are many possible causes of pain in the scrotum, testicles , epididymis (the tubes behind the testicles that carry sperm ), and the spermatic cord.
Although neither blue balls nor epididymal hypertension are terms widely used in medical practice, they suggest a non-pathogenic condition associated with sexual arousal. If anything, the terms act as placeholders until the doctor investigates other possible causes and makes sure it is not a more serious condition.
Symptoms of blue balls.
Blue blood cell symptoms can best be described as pain that occurs when prolonged sexual arousal does not produce ejaculation. The pain is usually dull, but can sometimes be sharp and spread to the lower abdomen and groin. There may also be a feeling of fullness in one or both testicles (although usually without overt edema).
Blue balls can be distinguished from other types of acute scrotal pain because the discomfort does not interfere with sexual intercourse. In contrast, scrotal pain caused by trauma often interferes with the ability to have sex.
Despite their name, blue balls do not turn the scrotum or testicles blue. If a bluish or purple discoloration occurs in the presence of sharp pain and swelling, this may be a sign of a medical emergency known as testicular torsion .
Scrotal pain that is chronic or that occurs regardless of gender should not be attributed to blue balls.
What Causes Blue Balls?
Blue balls are believed to be caused by an excessive accumulation of fluid in the epididymis during prolonged arousal. Without ejaculation, the "backing up" of the fluid can cause the epididymis to expand, causing discomfort or pain.
Blue balls can also be the result of delayed ejaculation (long delay between sexual arousal and orgasm). or delayed sperm (intentionally avoiding ejaculation).
Because the symptoms are not specific, doctors examining blue balls almost always investigate other possible causes of acute scrotal pain. This includes:
How to get rid of blue balls
If you have really blue balls, the symptoms usually go away on their own. If you can't bear the discomfort, there are several remedies that can help:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) can help relieve pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) can also help reduce inflammation and swelling of the epididymis.
- Some people recommend exercise , especially strength exercise. The idea is that exercise directs the blood to the major muscle groups and not the genitals.
- For generations, cold showers have been recommended to contain sexual arousal. Cold can also reduce swelling, as with injuries. A cold compress applied to the testicles may be a more practical approach.
- Masturbation has long been another home tool, and this strategy is also supported in some magazine articles. Despite this, most doctors would find it embarrassing and inappropriate to recommend masturbation as a treatment for any medical condition.
People with blue balloons should never force their partners to have sex without their full consent, or use any form of coercion.
Get the word of drug information
Blue balls are a phenomenon that definitely affects some people, but for which there are no guidelines on how to properly diagnose, treat, or prevent this condition. Not much time has been spent on research, in part because it is a relatively harmless disease that almost always goes away on its own.
However, if the condition is recurrent or chronic, see your doctor as it could be a sign of another potentially more serious problem.
If the pain is severe and is accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, scrotal swelling, abdominal pain, and frequent urination, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Frequently asked questions
Blue balls is a slang term used to describe epididymal hypertension. Epididymal hypertension occurs when fluid returns to the epididymis (the tube through which sperm travels) due to prolonged sexual intercourse without ejaculation. Common symptoms include a dull ache along with a feeling of fullness in the scrotum. Unlike pain in the scrotum, discomfort does not interfere with sexual intercourse.
Blue balls (epididymal hypertension) will usually resolve on their own in one or more hours. This usually does not require medical attention.
"Blue balls" is a term that dates back to 1916.
Despite its name, it rarely causes the testicles to turn blue.
A cold compress applied to the testicles can relieve pain. Over-the- counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also help. Masturbation has been described as a cure in some ancient medical journals, although few doctors today recommend masturbation as a treatment.