Blue Balls

Friday, January 30, 2015

Question

My testicles were swelling up and becoming painful to the touch every single time I had intercourse. This was severe and painful swelling, so bad that I couldn't put my underwear on. I work at home, so I dealt with it by just putting my girlfriend off so we did not have sex on days when I had to go into the office for a meeting. But eventually it got so bad that I had to go see my doctor.

I couldn’t believe how nasty he was to me! I never got an explanation for what was the matter. He said I had “inflammation” and gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and steroids. I asked him if I had to avoid sex for a while, and he told me, “I should think that would be obvious,” but never told me for how long. He actually sneered at me, I don’t think you see a sneer very often, but he sure had one on his face. I felt my face burning like I was five years old and got caught pissing in the flowerbed.

The treatment took a few weeks, and during that whole time, I was afraid to masturbate or have sex with my girlfriend. I had a lot of questions but I was too ashamed to call my doctor back. My girlfriend is on the heavy side. I like big, curvy women. She prefers to be on top so she can move around and get the sensations that she likes. And I like to watch her up there, bouncing around and enjoying herself. But now I kind of wonder if my boys were getting too much impact or pressure. Do you think that could have injured my testicles to the point where I would need all this medication? I also have a fondness for kinky porn. My girlfriend isn’t kinky at all, so I like to download a little porn from the Internet and tie up my cock and balls while I am watching. Do you think that would have harmed my equipment in any way? I sure don’t want to have to go through this again!

Answer

I am not a doctor so I can’t be sure exactly what was wrong with you. I do know that any time you don’t feel your doctor is treating you with respect, and any time you feel you can’t ask your doctor questions about what is wrong or how your treatment should proceed, you need to get a new doctor. You may also need to become more assertive with the medical profession in general. Talking to a doctor is no different than talking to a plumber. He is a worker that you hired. You can keep him or fire him. He is not a demigod or a dictator. And he certainly has no right to pass judgment on your sex life or shame you because your genitals needed medical attention. In fact, to do so constitutes malpractice.

Doctors receive very little training on sexual health or on how to talk to their patients. Yet they are viewed as authorities on sexuality! They do receive extensive reinforcement for being arrogant and not admitting they have made a mistake or done anything wrong. They are also under pressure to spend as little time as possible with clients. It is best to go to the doctor with a list of questions already written down, and to write down the answers. This helps to prevent forgetfulness due to anxiety or the doctor’s attitude. Get a phone number or e-mail you can use if questions come up after the appointment. I always take an advocate with me so they can help me to remember what I need to know. It also reminds the doctor I have a witness and there are people who care about how I am treated.

Many things can make the testicles swell. Some of these conditions are listed below.

Orchitis: acute inflammation of the testes. Caused by bacteria or viral infection. Usually in just one testicle. Often caused by mumps virus. 33% of men who get mumps as teens also get orchitis (Mayo Clinic). Can also be caused by gonorrhea, chlamydia, epididymitis. If you have unsafe sex or get a lot of urinary tract infections (UTIs) or if your urinary tract is abnormally structured, you are at higher risk. Symptoms include painful ejaculation, blood in the semen, painful urination, scrotum pain, enlarged prostate, unusual discharge from the penis, fever, enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. Diagnosis may require a prostate exam to see if it has spread there and an ultrasound to check for testicular torsion, a urine sample, and a swab of penile discharge. Viral orchitis has to run its course. There is no treatment. Bacterial orchitis gets antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, pain meds, ice packs. It can take several weeks to recover. Avoid heavy lifting. Your sexual partner may need treatment too. Can have long-term effects like inflammation of the epididymis, abscess within the scrotum, shrinking of affected testicle, death of testicular tissue. Prevention includes getting vaccinated against mumps and using condoms.

Hydrocele: Edema due to increased fluid. Usually happens to babies but can happen to adults as well. The channel through which the testicle descends forms a sac around the testicle. If it does not close properly, it and can fill with fluid. People can realize there is a problem if the scrotum feels heavy. May be worse in the morning. This condition is usually not painful. It can go away on its own or may be treated surgically.

Inguinal Hernia: This occurs if the intestine pushes through a weakened point in the groin. The spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord holds up the testicles. Testicles pass through the inguinal canal shortly after birth. It is supposed to close up then, but sometimes it does not fully close, leaving a space where a hernia may occur. The most common symptom is a lump on either side of the pubic bone where thigh and groin meet. This lump is most obvious when standing up. Obesity is a risk factor along with frequent coughing, constipation, smoking, and lifting heavy weights. Symptoms include discomfort in the lower stomach. Treated with surgery.

Epididymitis: Inflammation or infection of the epididymis (at the back of the testicle). The epididymis connects the testicles to the vas deferens. They store and transport sperm. Usually caused by a bacterial infection. Risk factors include a UTI, STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia, urethritis, prostatitis, tuberculosis. Can also be caused by a physical injury, viral infection like mumps, genital abnormalities, treatment with a heart rhythm drug, and chemotherapy for bladder cancer. Risk increased by use of a catheter, infrequent urination, removal of the prostate, poor immune system, not using condoms. Symptoms include pain in the testicles, swelling of the scrotum, a lump and tenderness in the testicles, groin pain, fever and chills, inflamed urethra, pain during intercourse or ejaculation, painful urination and bowel movements, discomfort in lower abdomen, penile discharge. Diagnosed by urine sample, culture of discharge, blood test, ultrasound. Treatment may include bed rest to prevent testicles from moving around, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories. May need an athletic supporter. Hot baths can relieve pain. If it keeps coming back, surgery may be needed to correct abnormalities of the urethra. NO SEX till you are okay. Decrease risk by using condom, empty bladder frequently, know partner’s health (i.e., women with chlamydia are dangerous to male partners).

Testicular torsion: The testicle itself or supportive cords are twisted. This is very painful. The organ will die if not treated in a few hours. Can cause loss of fertility. Doctor may recommend: ice, pain meds, sitz bath, rest, athletic support

The bottom line is: SCROTAL SWELLING OR A LUMP SHOULD BE SEEN IMMEDIATELY BY A DOCTOR. You shouldn’t wait to get genital pain treated. This is why it is important to have a doctor who can set you at ease in these stressful situations. The sooner you get diagnosed, the less invasive your treatment will be, and the better you will heal up.

Most men’s testicles are pretty sensitive to pain. It’s an important part of the body that has been protected with a lot of nerve endings to give early warning of damage. So if your girlfriend was hurting you during sex, you would probably know right away. But if you are worried that her weight is slowly doing damage to your sack, it is going to make you feel inhibited when you have sex with her. So, much as you love her gorgeous body, you need to ask her to keep riding high and keep her bottom off your boys. This can be solved by getting a long mirror for your bedroom. Position it so that both of you can see what is going on when you are on your back on the bed. Just check every now and then to make sure that your balls are free and clear. After a while, I think you can probably relax about this. If she hates the mirror (which some women do), you can take it down.

If you don’t use condoms, that is more likely to be a problem than playing with your wild cowgirl. If she has chlamydia, or if you get gonorrhea, or any other sexually-transmitted infection (STI), bacteria and viruses can get into your urethra, travel from there into the epididymis (tubes that carry and store sperm from the vas deferens to the testicles), and cause inflammation and pain.

Tying up your cock and balls can be safe as long as you don’t damage any of the important structures that make up your reproductive organs. You don’t want to use cord that is so thin it will cut your skin or cause abrasions. When you create your bondage, be careful to slip a couple fingers underneath the first set of knots or twists of cordage to be sure you won’t cut off circulation. If your balls or cock start to feel numb, you need to loosen the knots. A pair of blunt scissors like the ones that paramedics use are good to keep around for emergencies, so you can safely cut through the tied cords or ropes. Using a metal cock ring is not a good idea because you can experience too much swelling, either from excitement or from swelling, to be able to safely remove it without cutting the ring. A search for someone with a pair of bolt cutters is not a pleasant experience. So use rubber O-rings; you can buy them cheaply at a hardware store in the plumbing department. I don’t use any metal (such as chain) for genital bondage. It can also be dangerous to attach your balls to something else, like a table leg or your ankles, because if you get excited and suddenly yank on your ties, you can cause a tear within your scrotum or twist the cords that support your testicles within the scrotum.

Don’t leave bondage on your genitals overnight or even for several hours. Realize that you won’t get a warning of color change if you are experiencing reduced circulation and numbness, as you would with a hand, foot, arm, or leg. The genitals are so richly blessed with blood vessels that they will not turn pale as they lose circulation.

Another thing to consider is what happens when you come. There is a bit of a controversy about this. Some people feel that it won’t hurt a guy to be unable to ejaculate once in a while. They point out that there are yoga practices that teach men how to experience retrograde ejaculation. The cum goes back into the bladder and is absorbed by the body. It feels weird but doesn’t do any apparent damage. This can happen if tight bondage is left on the cock and balls. My concern is that the pressure inside the urethra during an orgasm is pretty strong; I don’t want the urethra or other delicate structures to get bruised by resistance from bondage on the outside of the cock and balls. So I prefer to remove any rope or rings before there is an orgasm.

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