What is Blue Balls?
This is a term that is quite commonly used, but what does it actually mean. ‘Blue balls’ is a common term used to describe pain or aching in the scrotum or balls. It occurs when you are sexually aroused for a long period of time and there is no ejaculation that follows it.
How to get rid of blue balls?
It pretty much goes away on its own after some time but stretching or exercising can help relieve tension. The easiest way to cure blue balls is through masturbation.
Epididymal Hypertension/ Blue Balls
Epididymal hypertension is another term used to describe it. This is because the epididymis is a long, coiled tube attached to the testicles. It stores sperm travelling from the testes and during sexual arousal there is a build-up of sperm, which adds onto the pressure caused by blood rushing to the genitals.
You will experience slight discomfort and it usually requires no medical intervention. It is quite common.
The balls or testicles usually don’t turn blue. This is just a name given to it.
How do you know you have blue balls?
Usually, the symptoms observed from blue balls are:
- Discomfort or mild pain in the genitals
- The pain may extend a little further up to the abdomen
- A very faint blue hue is noticed only when blue balls occur in people with paler skin. Please visit a doctor if the scrotum remains purplish-blue. This may be a sign of testicular torsion.
- Swelling of the scrotum to a certain extent
What does blue balls feel like?
The feeling of blue balls has been compared to a fizzy drink being shaken up and withheld from…well exploding. This is just the urge to ejaculate or expel the build-up of fluids.
For people worrying about the pain or discomfort, a rating for this uneasiness would be a mere one on ten. So, there’s nothing to worry about.
PSA: Blue balls should never be used as a reason to coerce your partner into sexual acts or favors. Make sure your partner is fully consenting to any sexual activities.
Sometimes, testicular torsion can be confused for blue balls. This time the balls actually turn blue and the condition is pretty serious. Let’s understand testicular torsion and its severity.
What causes blue balls?
During sexual arousal in men, blood rushes to the genitals and swells up the penis to cause an erection. Blood does not leave the genitals for a long period of time. This is known as vasocongestion. Vasocongestion is the swelling up of tissues due to increased blood flow causing an increase in pressure too.
Over an extended period of time, the body anticipates ejaculation and the epididymis is filled with sperm (semen retention). When there is no release of semen, fluid build-up takes place and causes slight discomfort or mild pain in the scrotum.
Further research is required to understand what exactly happens when you experience blue balls and if it has any medical implications.
If you experience a sudden sharp pain in one or both of your testicles, it may be a sign of testicular torsion. Usually, the pain does not subside and only gets worse after time, please visit a urologist immediately.
Testicular torsion occurs when the testicle rotates and cuts of the flow to the spermatic cord (blood vessels that connect the testicles to the abdomen). When the spermatic cord is twisted up, a sudden pain is experienced. (Herman, 2008)
If blood flow to the testicle is cut off completely, this may even lead to death of the tissues.
What causes testicular torsion?
Testicular torsion can be caused due to injury or even a genetic trait. This trait inherited from your parents may cause the testicle to freely rotate in the scrotum.
Current studies suggest that there is evidence for testicle torsion having a genetic component. If there are members in your family who are prone to testicular torsion and have experienced it, you have a higher chance of getting testicular torsion. (Shteynshlyuger and Yu, 2013)
If it is detected early on, the testicle can be saved through surgery. If you have sudden sharp pains in your scrotum that come and go, it is best to get it checked.
Each year, testicular torsion affects one in 4,000 males younger than 25 years. (Ringdahl and Teague, 2006) Testicular torsion is most commonly seen in children. This is mostly because the testicle is not properly attached to the scrotum during development. (Testicular Torsion in Children)
There are several other reasons for scrotal pain
If you have experienced pain in the testicles on a regular basis, this may indicate other medical conditions like:
- Epididymitis- It is the inflammation of the epididymis and can cause tenderness, pain, redness and swelling
- Testicular hematoma- Blood pooling up around the testicular tissues, can be caused due to injury
- Testicular torsion- Rotating of the testicles causing severe pain and can even lead to loss of a testicle, as discussed earlier.
- Urethral stone- urethral stones can get lodged in the ureter (tubes that carry urine to the penis) [Urethra Stone]
How to relieve/soothe blue balls:
Since it isn’t a medical condition and the pain is temporary, medical attention is not necessary unless the pain is persistent.
You might be feeling blue from the blue balls and it can get quite frustrating so here are a few tips you can use to relieve the sensation:
- It goes away after some time
‘Blue balls’ usually gets handled by itself. The pain is temporary and usually subsides after some time. There is no need to worry about it. Just sit back, relax and maybe watch a movie or something.
- Stretching or flexing a muscle
Stretching or flexing a muscle is usually helpful because this relieves tension and brings focus/attention to the extended or stretched muscle. This can even help to relax your body. A good stretch always helps.
Exercise is an excellent way to cure blue balls. The blood that has rushed to the penis during arousal now travels to other parts of the body when you exert yourself.
Exercising redirects blood flow from the genitals to other parts helping to decrease the swelling. While you are exerting yourself, you forget all about the sexual thoughts.
- Distract yourself
This is another easy trick used. Think about non- arousing things or just anything that you’d like to think about. Focus on the topic.
- Ejaculation or masturbation
Well, this is the most common practice used. Ejaculation usually solves the issue at hand, this can be achieved through masturbation. It is an easy and failproof trick used. Masturbation is the go-to when it comes to blue balls
Sexual activity can also help with it as you are still engaged. Sex can lead to an orgasm which is usually accompanied by ejaculation. The heightened feelings during sex peaks to reach a climax causing an orgasm and most often ejaculation.
This release of bodily fluids relieves the pressure and the pain felt in the scrotum.
- Cold showers
Cold showers are an excellent way to relieve the swelling. The cold water soothes the discomfort and can even help reduce the swelling. A cold shower can reset things back to normal.
The same logic can be used for an ice pack. Sore muscles or tissues are iced too. It constricts blood flow and hence reduces swelling.
Is there a female equivalent to blue balls?
Apparently, there is! The female equivalent of blue balls is known as ‘Blue Bean’ or ‘Blue Vulva’. Pretty cute name, don’t you think?
This phenomenon is similar to blue balls in males. During arousal, blood rushes to the female genitalia causing swelling. The vulva is engorged with blood and the clitoris which is homologous to the penis is erect. Homologous means that they are both similar in anatomy and biological function.
The feeling is said to be quite irritating and it is comparable to blue balls. But I assume it’s definitely not as painful.
Let us look into the Most Frequently Asked Questions !
1.What is epididymis?
Epididymis is a long, coiled tube attached to the testicles.
2. What is a sign of testicular torsion?
If the scrotum remains purplish-blue, that can be described as a sign of testicular torsion.
3. What is Vasocongestion?
Vasocongestion is the swelling up of tissues due to increased blood flow.
4. What number of people affect testicular torsion?
Testicular torsion affects one in 4,000 males younger than 25 years.
5. What is a testicular hematoma?
Testicular hematoma is the blood pooling up around the testicular tissues and can be caused due to injury.
The throbbing is usually something that does not call for a lot of attention and it is quite common. Though the nagging feeling of wanting to release is something you will have to deal with. You can choose to either ejaculate or use the above tips to mentally and physically distract yourself.
Hopefully, you have all the information you need regarding blue balls.