announcement

Help someone with useful health advice.

Groin Pain in Men

Groin Pain in Men

Groin pain is primarily referred to as a discomfort or the feeling of pain in the lower abdominal area of the body. It occurs in both men and women, but is more common in men.
Kanika Khara
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
The groin is basically the area where the abdomen ends and the legs begin. This lower abdominal region where the muscles of the abdomen, thighs, and pelvis meet, is one of the most sensitive regions for men. The groin region also includes the upper area of the inner thighs. Any stress, injury, or trauma to these muscles can result in mild to extreme groin pain.
Often, mild pain is a result of unnoticed injuries or strain. In most cases, this can be treated at home itself. But sometimes, the pain is so intense and unbearable that it restricts a person from performing simple activities like bending down, lifting an object, walking, etc. Generally, the terms 'groin' and 'testicle' are used interchangeably, and often, many people have the wrong notion that groin pain means pain only in the testicles or scrotum. It actually relates to pain anywhere in the groin area.
Causes of Groin Pain in Men
There are many causes of groin pain. Whether it is lower right or lower left groin pain, the severity of the condition mainly depends on its underlying cause. Some of the most common causes are:
Swelling or Injury Due to Strain: In most cases, pain in the groin area is due to strain. Strenuous activities that include lifting heavy objects, sports, heavy exercise, etc., lead to nerve compression, muscle, ligament, or tendon strain in the groin. These may cause mild injuries or swelling, which can radiate pain.
Direct Blow: Being a very sensitive area, a direct blow to the scrotum can cause severe groin pain in men. In extreme cases, bruising or swelling of the testicles can be the result of a severe injury. In such cases, pain in the testicles can radiate pain the groin.
Enlarged Lymph Glands: The lymph nodes are a very important part of our immune system, and help fight infections and other foreign substances. Enlarged or swollen lymph glands actually refers to the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes in the groin area, which may occur due to different bacterial or viral infections. In rare cases, these may be painful.
Inguinal Hernia: Inguinal hernia is a protrusion of structure, tissue, or a part of an organ through the abdominal wall, that can intrude into the space holding the spermatic cord. The protrusion can also move into the scrotum (the skin pouch containing the testicles, below the penis), causing sharp pain. This condition is more commonly seen in men having a weak abdominal wall or groin muscles.
Epididymitis: Epididymitis is a condition that occurs due to the swelling or inflammation of the epididymis, a tube that connects the testicles with the vas deferens (a muscular tube-like structure that carries sperms prior to ejaculation). One of the most common cause for groin pain, it usually develops due to a bladder infection. Diseases like gonorrhea, chlamydia, cystitis, etc., can also contribute to epididymitis in men. This ailment is more commonly seen in homosexual men.
Infections: STDs, cellulitis, abscesses, and infections of the urinary tract, can be a cause of pain in the groin.
Hydrocele: When the sac that holds the testicles gets filled with fluid, it causes swelling of the testicles and scrotum, leading to pain.
Varicocele: Swelling of the veins in the scrotum may also lead to groin and scrotum pain.
Osteitis Pubis: The area where the two pelvic bones come together in the front of the pelvis is termed as pubic symphysis. Osteitis pubis is a condition when this joint gets inflamed and irritated, causing pain in the groin region. However, this condition is rare.
Kidney Stone: Pain in the groin can also be referred from other parts of the body. A common example is kidney stones. Kidney stones are a solid mass made up of tiny crystals, that form in the kidneys. When this stone passes through the ureter (the passage that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder), mild to extreme pain may radiate in the groin area.
Testicular Tumor: Also termed as Leydig cell tumor, it is tumor of the testicles that develops from Leydig cells (the cells responsible for releasing the male hormone testosterone). Though their exact causes are unknown, testicular tumors are commonly seen in men between the ages of 20 - 60. This condition causes extreme pain and swelling or enlargement in the testicles, heaviness in the scrotum, and pain the groin.
Testicular Cancer: Swelling and heaviness in the scrotum, swelling or a lump in the testicles, and pain in the abdomen and groin may indicate testicular cancer. However, not all cases with these symptoms are cancerous. Only a proper check-up and diagnosis can conclude this condition.
Inflammation of the Intestines: Ischemia is a condition where the arteries supplying blood to the intestines (small, large, or both) get blocked. This causes inflammation of the intestines, and may cause pain in the groin. Infection of the intestines can also cause pain in the lower abdomen.
Orchitis: Another probable cause of groin pain is orchitis, which is basically inflammation or swelling of either one or both testicles. This disorder is more common in men between aged between 19 - 35, and occurs due to certain bacterial or viral infections like epididymitis, and even some STDs like gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Arthritis: Arthritis is basically inflammation of a joint which is generally followed by swelling and stiffness. The groin mostly gets affected when the hip joints have been affected by arthritis.
Lipoma: A non-cancerous, tumorous growth of fatty deposits under the skin may form a lump-like structure anywhere in the body. It is not painful, but if formed in the groin area may cause pain in some cases.
Avascular Necrosis: A fracture or dislocation of the hip bones can lead to avascular necrosis. Due to very little supply of blood to the bone tissues, they degenerate, further causing the bone to develop tiny breaks. This causes pain that may radiate to the groin and thighs.
Bursitis: In this condition, the bursa (a sac-like cushion or padding that is filled with fluid, which prevents clashing of the bones against the muscles and tendons) is inflamed or swollen. This can also cause pain in the surrounding groin area.
Testicular Torsion: Testicular torsion is basically twisting of the spermatic cord, which disrupts blood supply to the testicles or surrounding structures like the scrotum. This condition commonly occurs due to a trauma to the scrotum or after strenuous exercise.
Retractile Testicle: In this condition, one of the testicles moves independently and may move from the scrotum towards the groin and vice versa. Usually, no pain is felt. But in some rare cases, this can cause pain in the scrotum and groin.

Other causes like a drug or allergic reaction can also cause pain in the groin.
Related Signs and Symptoms
In most cases, if it is mild injury or swelling, the pain will subside after a while on its own. In case of an underlying disease or disorder, there may be other symptoms associated with groin pain.
  • Extreme swelling and a lump in the scrotum or groin.
  • Difficulty and pain while sitting, standing, and performing regular activities.
  • Itching of the genital area, along with pain.
  • Pain while urinating.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, and hips.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever, cough, cold, and headache.
There may be cases when the symptoms are more serious and call for immediate medical help.
  • If the groin pain is unexplained and does not subside for days.
  • A lump or redness and swelling is persistent.
  • Blood in urine or stools.
  • Extreme pain or swelling in only one testicle for more than 2 - 3 hours.
  • Yellowish discharge, increased or decreased frequency of urination.
  • Extreme pain and sudden swelling of the scrotum.
  • Nausea, high fever, vomiting, dizziness, and difficulty in breathing.
  • Ulcers and blisters in the groin area.
Treatment Options
Before resorting to any treatment for groin pain, it is recommended to get the actual cause diagnosed. However, patients experiencing pain due to a muscle pull or minor injury can practice some muscle-strengthening or warm-up and stretching exercises to relieve the pain. Get plenty of rest. Do not indulge in any strenuous activity or sports. Using an ice compress on the affected area two to three times a day will help. Wear comfortable but supportive inner wear or shorts. For mild pain, over-the-counter painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicines may also help.
Men with more intense causes and underlying health problems related to groin pain should undergo a proper medical examination for necessary treatment. After a thorough diagnosis supported with tests like ultrasound, blood and urine tests, scans, etc., proper treatment can be suggested.
Groin pain in men is common, however, by no chance should it be treated as a minor health issue. If you notice any unusual or alarming signs and symptoms, always get yourself checked up and treated.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.