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What Happens When You Get Hit in the Balls - Why It Hurts

Every man post-puberty has experienced the worst part of masculinity. Your whole world crashes in on you. Your vision narrows to a point. You double over and dry heave. The pain is too much.

We’re talking about what happens when you get hit in the balls. It’s the absolute worst, and we all have to deal with it way too often. Sometimes, we even sit on our own balls. How was that a good idea, nature? What were you thinking?

That madness of it all makes us ask the obvious question: why? Why does it hurt so badly? What can we do about it? Today, you’re going to get a manly science lesson in testicular trauma. You’re probably going to wince and make faces while you read this, but it’s important knowledge.

Why Does It Hurt?

Let’s start with the most important question. Why does it hurt so damned much? What did guys do to deserve this? We actually aren’t going to tackle that second question, but we can get into the medicine of the first.

There Is No Protection

Let’s be frank about it. Your balls are very exposed. That exposure is actually good for them in a lot of ways. Primarily, it means that the testicles are exposed to less body heat. If they weren’t in an isolated sack, your sperm would get fried by your own internal body temperature. That’s definitely a weird design decision, but that’s how it is. So, your balls being out there is typically good for them.

The problem is that it means there are no bones, fat layers, calluses (usually), or anything else to protect them from blunt force. Even a slight tap transfers all of the force directly to your poor little guys. That lack of protection is a major reason why it hurts so much.

man with groin pain

So Many Nerves

Of course, the main reason why getting hit in the balls hurts so much is the nerve endings. Your sex organs have tons of nerve endings. That’s what makes sex feel so good. Unfortunately, it makes a slight tap to the balls feel like agony.

Interestingly, there’s a comparable part of your body that really drives this point home. Your eyes have a very high number of nerve endings too. It also hurts a ton when they get poked or otherwise bludgeoned. In fact, in a lot of ways, the pain is pretty similar. But, your balls are even more sensitive than your eyes because they have even more nerves attached. That’s why a hit to the balls is roughly the worst pain possible on your body.

What About the Stomach Ache?

We’ve all felt it. A good shot to the pills doesn’t just hurt there. It makes you sick to your stomach. Why does that happen? Doctors call it referred pain. Basically, your testicular nerves are screaming in agony so loudly that it causes nearby nerves to feel uncomfortable. It’s kind of like a scream so loud that it can make you wince. The nerve screaming from your nuts is intense enough to cause literal, physical pain in other nerves. Those nerves are usually located in your gut.

You can feel referred pain elsewhere. You might get a shot to the shorts that makes your legs ache. It can even make you dizzy. All of that is the same phenomenon. It really just depends on which adjacent nerves are getting the brunt of the scream.

Dealing With the Impact

Now you know why it hurts. Great. What can you do about it? There are pain remedies, but you might find that these answers don’t contain any magic cures. That’s life for you sometimes. A punch in the crotch is awful, and nothing is going to completely change that.

man clutching his groin

Pain Remedies

For incidental touches, you can wait it out. We’ve all been there. It’s not fun, but the stomach pain and waves of testicular misery will subside. All things considered, the pain doesn’t really last that long. Waiting should be your first option.

If the pain is abnormally severe or long-lasting, then you’ll want to consider your additional options. Still, you don’t want to jump to invasive pain remedies unless you’re sure it’s necessary. Otherwise, you’re adding to the overall stress on your body for no reason.

Extra Intense Pain

If it hurts way more than usual, then you can use pain killers. Pretty much any pain killer is going to affect testicular pain, but you want to avoid topical treatments. Ibuprofen and anything comparable is perfectly viable and should blunt the pain pretty quickly.

Here’s the thing. If your balls get hit hard enough that you need pain killers, you probably have more to worry about than just discomfort. You should strongly consider seeing a doctor just to make sure there’s no injury. The jewels are quite fragile, so you want to make sure you aren’t leaving damage untreated.

Lasting Pain

If you have pain in your testicles that just won’t go away, you have a problem that might need medical attention. Similarly, if the pain feels unusual in any way, you need to take it seriously. Lasting or chronic pain can be a sign of significant injury or other medical conditions, and you don’t want to mess with any of them. Testicular torsion is frustratingly common and it can ruin your life if you try to ignore it.

That said, there is an elephant in the room. There’s a “condition” that can cause lasting or frequent testicular pain that isn’t a medical problem at all. We’re talking about blue balls, and if you’re wondering if blue balls is dangerous, fear not. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a release; your pain isn’t associated with direct trauma, or you were way more excited than usual, there’s a good chance that aching pain is really just a case of the blue balls. Make sure you know how to get rid of blue balls before you drag a doctor into the equation.

Serious Shots

Not all hits to the balls are the same. Sometimes you get a little love tap from one of your perpetually adolescent friends. Other times you take a serious blow that puts you at real risk for lasting injury. We’re going to discuss the latter case now, so prepare yourself for some empathic wincing.

man with doctor

Start With Seeing Your Doctor

A hard shot to the boys is a viable reason to go to urgent care. When the damage is bad, you’ll be able to tell. Your instincts will scream that something is wrong, and you should listen to them. If your inclination is that you need the emergency room instead of urgent care (or if urgent care isn’t available), that’s ok too. Testicular injury is always serious. It’s not something you want to take for granted, so get medical help. The worst-case scenario of a frivolous doctor visit is that you’re fine. Wouldn’t that be great?


If your balls get injured, you’re going to want to know about treatments and how they work. Treatments start light and escalate depending on the severity of the injury. You can actually treat mild injuries with an ice pack. It reduces swelling and prevents a lot of possible complications, but you have to use the ice pack correctlyYour testes are super sensitive, remember? You can’t just casually ice them.

For many other mild injuries, antiinflammatories will be recommended. That’s stuff like ibuprofen. It helps treat the source of the problem, and when that’s all you need, recovery is usually pretty fast. 

Anything serious is likely to be treated with surgery. Surgeries will depend on the injury, but they’re a common way to deal with testicular trauma. Surgeries will differ in scope, practice, severity, and recovery, so you’ll want to have a good talk with your doctor if they say you need to be cut. The range is too vast to cover here.

If you really want to be scared, then you can know that the most severe ball injuries result in removal. It’s not something we like to think about, but it happens every day. Guys get major injuries, and that’s the end of their testicular careers. The good news is that testicle plastic surgery can at least leave you with something down there, but you’re still looking at a life-altering injury.

Is there a lesson in all of this? Take care of your boys. They’re out there. They’re completely vulnerable, and if something terrible happens to them, you could lose them forever. Give them the best life you can. Anything else seems an unbearable risk.



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