Testicular torsion is rare, but it can happen to any guy, and it's a medical emergency. Every man should know how to spot it and what to do about it quickly. Why? If you wait too long, permanent damage (including complete death of the testicle) can happen.
Think of it as CPR or any other sort of emergency preparedness. You may never need this information, but if you do, time is of the essence. Keep reading for eight facts every man should know about testicular torsion.
1: Know What Testicular Torsion Is
Testicular torsion is defined as twisting of the testicle. What's so bad about twisting of a testicle? When a testicle becomes twisted, it cuts off the blood supply from the body to the testicle. Unless it is fixed quickly, the testicle will "die." The medical term for this is a testicular infarction -- similar to the medical term for a heart attack
, myocardial infarction
. Infarction is just a medical term for tissue death caused by a lack of oxygen.
Most testicles don't ever twist. That's because most testicles are anchored within the scrotum by connective tissue. However, in some boys and men, they aren't anchored well (or even at all), increasing the risk for twisting.
2: Know the Testicular Torsion Symptoms
The classic case of testicular torsion starts abruptly with a sudden onset of excruciating pain in only one testicle, not both. The pain can be so bad that it causes nausea and vomiting. It's typically quite clear to a man that something is terribly wrong, although men may delay seeking treatment due to embarrassment or unawareness of the seriousness and urgency of the situation.
Swelling and redness of the scrotum may also occur, but the most obvious symptom is typically testicular pain.