What is causing pain in my testicles

Abstain from sexual intercourse until you have completed treatment.
Abstain from sexual intercourse until you have completed treatment.
Photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

What you need to know:

  • You need to have a sample of the urine taken for analysis and culture in a good laboratory.
  • You also need to be screened for STI, including Chlamydia test and HIV test.

What causes pain in my testicles? I also experience  painful burning sensation when urinating.

Dear Allan,

The burning urine and testicular pain most likely means that you have an ongoing infection. It may be due to gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas or infection by other organisms. Most likely you acquired the infection through sexual transmission from any partner you have had in the past three to six months.

You need to have a sample of the urine taken for analysis and culture in a good laboratory. You also need to be screened for STI, including Chlamydia test and HIV test. You would also benefit from a testicular ultrasound. You will be given antibiotics to treat the infection, depending on the results. Abstain from sexual intercourse until you have completed treatment, and you have been retested and found to be cured. Any partners you have had in the past three to six months also need to be treated for their own health’s sake, and also to prevent re-infection to you.

If it is not treated, the symptoms may actually reduce with time though the infection is still present. The danger is that when the infection spreads to the testicles and the rest of the reproductive tract, this can lead to infertility in the long run. The infection can also spread to the rest of the body, causing serious illness. Any time you have unprotected intercourse, you can spread the infection to your partner. In women, this can lead to infection in the reproductive tract and pelvic organs as well as infertility problems.

I recently had a miscarriage. Does miscarriage has an impact on future pregnancies?

Dear Mary,

The risk of a miscarriage having an impact on future pregnancies is dependent on the cause of the miscarriage. About 10 to 20 per cent of confirmed pregnancies end in a miscarriage. It may be due to some infections, clotting disorders, some genetic disorders in the mother or in the foetus, abnormalities of the uterus or cervix and placental abnormalities. The risk is higher if the mother has had miscarriages before or is over 35 years old, or is a smoker or an alcoholic, or she has a poorly controlled chronic illness like hypertension, diabetes, kidney or thyroid disease. In many cases, the cause of the miscarriages is not found.

It would be good to be followed up by a gynaecologist so that the possible cause of the miscarriages can be checked. If a cause is found and is treatable, then future miscarriages can be avoided. When you get pregnant again, you should start seeing an obstetrician gynaecologist as soon as you  find out you are pregnant. You may require some medications to help sustain the pregnancy or some procedures can be done if necessary to help increase the chances of carrying the baby to term.

Hello Dr Flo
I am a 30-year-old female and recently married. We are planning on having a baby at least after two years. This means that to avoid the risk of getting pregnant, I need to get into a family planning method. My periods are irregular so safe days are out of the question. Which family planning method would you recommend and one that won't affect the ability of getting pregnant when in the near future.

Dear Lucy,

Choosing a family planning method is very individualised because it depends on current health condition, possible health risks, lifestyle, affordability, convenience, availability, future fertility concerns, age and weight, the method’s effectiveness and potential side effects, and also acceptability to your partner. The underlying cause of the irregular periods also needs to be considered, especially if a hormonal method is chosen.

The family planning methods you can consider include:

Condoms, either female or male, daily pills, hormonal patch, which is placed on the body for a week then replaced, contraceptive injections, which are given once every two  or three months depending on the specific medication

Intra-uterine device (IUD) — the IUD is effective for three to 10 years depending on which type you choose and can be removed whenever you are ready to conceive — vaginal ring, diaphragm, cervical cap or sponge with spermicide. 

It is best to choose a contraceptive method in consultation with a doctor following an assessment and detailed evaluation of each method. It is also advisable for you to involve your partner in the decision making.

Hi Doctor,
Does Covid has a different effect on people based on their geographical location?

Dear reader,

Covid-19 can infect anyone and cause symptoms, mild or moderate, or severe symptoms. The effect is different in each individual, and the symptoms may also be different if the same person gets Covid at different times. The symptoms can develop in any person regardless of which geographical location they are in.

Any person can have severe disease, though there is a higher chance of severe disease if someone is older in age, or if the person has lung conditions including asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, sickle cell disease, cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, stroke, dementia, weak immune system or pregnancy. The severity of the disease may also depend on how much of the virus you were exposed to, that is, the viral load.

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