6 Cures For Epididymal Hypertension (AKA 'Blue Balls') That Don't Require Anything From Women

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Sex

Not every hot, heavy make-out session ends with sex. Maybe you aren’t ready for a home run with this guy, you have work early in the morning, or you’re stuck in one of those awkward moments where you have to call things off because neither of you has a condom.

Leaving things unfinished can actually be super-hot. Unless, of course, you’re the guy with "blue balls" who has to limp home with sore junk.

That's right — "blue balls" is a real thing.

What are 'blue balls'? The medical term is called epididymal hypertension (EH), and it happens when blood flows into the penis and scrotum, causing engorgement.

Sure, it’s been used by guys to coerce women into sex they weren’t sure they wanted to have, but extreme sexual arousal without sexual release can result in pressure and pain. This pressure builds until it's released during ejaculation — or it isn’t, resulting in the pain referred to as "blue balls."

RELATED: Science Confirms Women Get 'Blue Balls' Too (Except They're Pink)

What causes 'blue balls'? 

1. Build up of blood.

Epididymal hypertension is caused by an extended period of built-up blood within the male genitals during prolonged sexual arousal that doesn't end in ejaculation. As stated before, the blood increases the pressure within the genitals that can result in pain.

2. Sexual frustration.

Sexual frustration means you're aroused (i.e., an erection) but have no sexual outlet. This can cause "blue balls" because arousal adds pressure in the genitals, causing pain or discomfort.

3. Kidney stones.

While kidney stones don't cause epididymal hypertension, it can have the same symptoms. So, if you feel pain and discomfort but aren't sexually aroused, you may have kidney stones, which are solid masses of crystals that originate in your kidney but can develop anywhere along your urinary tract.

4. Injury.

If you get hit in your private area, no doubt it will be painful! Any injury to the testicles, such as a sports injury or an object impacting the groin, can cause pain, swelling, and bruising. 

5. Epididymitis.

Epididymitis is when the testicles become inflamed due to an infection of the epididymis, which is a tube located at the back of the testicles that stores and carries sperm. When this tube becomes swollen, it can cause pain and swelling in the testicles, much like with "blue balls."

6. Varicocele.

A varicocele happens when the veins in the testicles become enlarged, which can cause the testicles to ache. 

7. Testicular torsion.

Testicle torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, which directly ends up twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum. This causes reduced blood flow, causing sudden and, very often, severe pain and swelling. This is mostly found in men between the ages of 12 and 18.

Can sperm build-up cause pain? Yes, it can but it doesn't necessarily involve epididymal hypertension. In fact, a 2018 study that looked at how often men should ejaculate for health reasons recommended that males release sperm 2 to 4 times a week. This will reduce the risk of prostate cancer down the line.

Signs & Symptoms Of 'Blue Balls'

1. Pain or discomfort.

The pressure built up within the genitals can cause pain or mild discomfort. A 2000 study published in Journal Pediatrics took a look at testicular pain in EH and testiculoscrotal pain in young adults.

Researchers found that, "As with any disease entity, there is probably a spectrum of pain with ‘blue balls’ varying from brief, mild discomfort to severe, sustained pain.”

2. Heaviness in the scrotum.

During epididymal hypertension, the testicles have expanded to allow the excess volume of blood to flow, causing the scrotum to feel heavy.

3. Aching.

The pressure can not only make the genitals feel pain, but can include a dull aching sensation.

4. Blue tint.

Though the testicles don't actually turn a bright blue color, epididymal hypertension can cause the male genitals to have a slight blue tint due to the excess volume of blood collected.

Myths About 'Blue Balls'

1. 'Blue balls' are dangerous.

This is simply not true. Epididymal hypertension is a low-level low-risk condition that is easily treatable with orgasm or other minor activities, like taking a cold shower or lifting something heavy. 

2. 'Blue balls' always look blue.

If anything, they will have a subtle tint of blue to them, but this may not even occur.

3. 'Blue balls' increase testosterone.

Many people have wondered if "blue-balling" can increase testosterone. Well, the answer is no, not really. It may increase for a day or two, but the testosterone usually levels out after a few days.

4. Sex or sexual activity is the only cure.

This is just not true. Sex or any sexual activity, though it's the faster way to cure it, is not the only solution. There are several other ways to relieve the pressure built up.

RELATED: 7 Sex Problems You Do Not Need To Stress About, According To Doctors

How To Treat 'Blue Balls'

Despite what some men facing this uncomfortable situation might tell you, what’s happening isn't your problem, nor is providing the sexual release and ejaculation the best and most immediate cure for this condition.

1. Ignore the problem.

The pain of epididymal hypertension is harmless and without side effects. It might also help to know that there is virtually no medical literature around EH, besides one case of a 14-year-old who was so uncomfortable after fooling around with his girlfriend that he ended up in the ER.

Frisky 14-year-olds aside, we can expect most grown men to be able to hold it together and just wait it out if need be. As arousal goes away, the pain and pressure from epididymal hypertension will subside all on its own. 

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However, taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help treat more intense pain.

2. Do heavy lifting.

It isn’t as good as orgasm, but doing hard manual labor will help blow off some steam.

Pushing or lifting something really heavy can help induce something called a Valsalva maneuver, which essentially flexes the same internal muscles as during a bowel movement. This can release the pressure on the testicles.

3. Work out.

Anything that helps divert blood flow should help take the pressure off swollen testicles. Hopping on the treadmill, pumping iron, or doing a few push-ups can help get the blood pumping to other parts of the body.

4. Get out of the mood.

Reducing arousal is a simple and easy way to divert blood flow from the genitals and provide release. Dirty thoughts (or actions) are what typically get an erection going; turning it upside down requires the opposite approach.

Thinking of a family member, taxes, or trouble at work should help turn the corner into turn-off territory, and release the pressure.

5. Put it on ice.

If sex isn’t happening today, a cold shower or ice pack is a quick way to cool things down. Cold reduces swelling, and therefore pressure and pain. It’s also a bit of a shock to the system, which can help men get out of the mood.

6. Masturbate.

Hot sex with a consenting partner is the best. (Sex of any kind with an unwilling partner is sexual assault. You may be the cause of his erection, but you don’t have to provide a release if you don’t want to. As soon as you say “no,” taking care of business becomes his own responsibility.)

RELATED: What Is Blue Balls? 20 Men Reveal If It's Legit —​ And What It Really Feels Like

Slutty Girl Problems aims to give you a daily stream of funny yet thought-provoking posts about sex, dating, relationships, feminism, and many more topics. We’re honest, sex-positive, and unapologetic, all the time.

This article was originally published at Slutty Girl Problems. Reprinted with permission from the author.