What Causes Blue Balls?

From the first flickers of chemistry to the post-coital glow, sex can be one of the most enjoyable experiences life has to offer. However, not every sexual encounter ends with an eruption of ecstasy, which can lead to problems beyond mere disappointment.

Most sexually active men will eventually encounter a situation where they get all revved up, but then, for whatever reason, they don’t climax. Instead of a rosy glow, many guys end up with a dull ache in their testicles. This unpleasant sensation goes by the slang name of “blue balls,” and it has a few myths and misconceptions circulating about it. So, what causes blue balls, and is there anything that can be done about them?

Blue Balls 101

The medical term for this pain in the sack is EH or EH for short. It specifically refers to the temporary condition that males can suffer when they become sexually aroused without achieving orgasm.

Although you may have heard protestations to the opposite, EH isn’t dangerous, and experiencing it is no excuse for anyone to start getting pushy. You’re not at risk of anything worse than an aching pain. There might also be a slight bluish coloration to your testicles, which is where the condition gets its somewhat unimaginative name from.

How Do You Develop EH?

When a man gets sexually aroused, the blood vessels leading to the penis and testes expand, while the vessels that transport blood away contract. This causes more blood than usual to accumulate in the genitals, and it contributes to both the penis getting stiffer and the balls growing in size.

Generally, the blood flow returns to normal after orgasm or after a decrease in physical arousal. However, when the encounter ends without release, the blood remains trapped, and this can lead to an ache and a feeling of heaviness. The disruption in blood flow can also potentially lend a blue tint to the testes, due to the excess blood being absorbed into the tissues.

Treating the Issue

It’s worth pointing out that there hasn’t been much research or study into EH, so it’s hard to provide a wide range of suggestions in terms of treatment. One case report published in a pediatric journal referred to a teenage boy who reported pain in his testicles for upwards of an hour and a half following a period of sexual stimulation without release.

The good news is that the quickest and simplest solution seems to be very effective – ejaculation during orgasm. This can be the result of sex with a willing partner, or it can be achieved through masturbation. The long and the short of it is that if you bring yourself to a conclusion, the pain will gradually recede.

The other option is to distract yourself from the arousal. You could try applying yourself to your work, listening to some music, or thinking unsexy thoughts. Alternatively, a cold shower can help take you out of the mood, and it can also reduce the blood flow to your crotch, which can relieve the symptoms. Finally, exercise might also be a good choice, as it encourages normal blood flow and can get things moving properly again.

Other Conditions You Should Know About

If the only time you’ve encountered pain in your testicles is during arousal, the chances are that you’re only suffering from EH. However, if you’re in pain regularly, even when not in the mood, then there are a number of other conditions that you might be suffering from, including:

  • epididymitis
  • inflammation
  • infection
  • mumps
  • orchitis
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • kidney stones
  • testicular cancer
  • testicular torsion

In less drastic news, having a pain in the nethers could also be the result of something simpler: your pants might just be too tight. Try taking off those skinny jeans, and see if that makes a difference.

Will You Need to See a Doctor?

Most of the time, having blue balls doesn’t mean you need medical treatment. Your quickest, cheapest, and easiest option is just to take things into your own hands. But if the pain keeps occurring regularly, or if it is causing you issues with your sexual performance, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your doctor, a urologist, or even with a sexual therapist.

What if the pain occurs outside of your sexual activity? In this case, it’s best to talk to your physician.

They’ll be able to help you work out what the cause is. You should be especially vigilant if you notice a lump or growth in size in either of your balls, a general dull ache in your groin, or if you have lower back pain. These could point to something more serious, and they should all be checked out as soon as possible.

In order to maintain your sexual and general health, you should pay attention to the signals your body is sending. If there’s anything to be worried about, it’s best to catch it early.

Give Yourself a Hand

Let’s look at the takeaway – what causes blue balls? When the owner of a set of male genitalia gets sexually excited, this causes increased blood flow to the penis and testicles, and a decrease of blood flow away from the genitals.

The increase in blood causes the penis and testicles to grow in size, and it is normally released from the genitals following an orgasm. But if the man experiences sexual excitement without getting this kind of release, the blood flow can remain restricted. This will potentially cause pain or a feeling of heaviness.

The simple solution is basically to have an orgasm, and the easiest way to do that is to masturbate. While it can certainly be more fun to involve someone else in the process, your partner is by no means obliged to help you to solve this problem. You’re not in any danger, and the pain will go away one way or another.

Don’t panic, and don’t try making any unfounded demands. Just take a hand in your own fate, and everything should be fine.