Groin pain (male)

Medical quality assurance by Dr. Albrecht Nonnenmacher, MD at November 24, 2015
StartSymptomsGroin pain (male)

The groin is the area of a human's body between the abdomen and the thighs; located where the legs begin, and the stomach ends. Groin pain is any discomfort that occurs in the groin region. Groin pain commonly affects sportsmen who play physical contact activities like football, rugby hockey, and athletes when the muscle in the groin is strained.


Definition & Facts

Most of the males who experience groin pain acquired the problem from injuries caused by the groin muscles during sports activities. The groin area is made up of five muscles that work cooperatively to move the legs.

The five muscles are abductor brevis, abductor longus, abductor mongu, gracilis, and pectineus. Any damage to one of the muscles causes discomfort that can lead to severe pain. Of all sports injuries, utmost five percent of the injuries occur in the groin area, but the diagnosis is usually hard due to the complex anatomy of the groin region.

A study found out that out of 21 patients with groin pains, 19 of them hard other disorders. Another study conducted in Australia found that at least 52 out 116 football players develop groin pains. Sometimes the pain becomes severe making the victim unable to climb stairs, run effectively and coughing.


There are several causes of male groin pain. One major cause is the orchitis, inflammation of the testicles. A bacterial infection causes pain that is transmitted to the groin area of a male. The infection may cause the person to vomit and have nausea.

The most common cause of testicles inflammation is virus infection that affects the male genitals. Another cause of groin pain in a male is muscle pull. Sportsmen sometimes stress the ligaments and muscles of the groin area while running making the groin area become not only painful, but tender.

Groin pain is also caused by the interstitial tumor in the testes. The tumor is caused by enlargement of the lymph gland that results from obstruction of normal drainage, irritation of chemicals and presence of foreign bodies cause the groin area to appear red, swollen and painful.

An inguinal hernia is another major cause of male groin pain that starts when a part of the intestines protrude through a weak abdominal muscle. It makes coughing and bending very painful. The victim experiences pain when lifting heavy objects.

When to see a doctor

Severe groin pain should not be ignored, and victims should seek medication since the pain may be a signal to other complicated problems. A doctor's help should be sought if the groin pain advances from moderate to severe. The person experiencing groin pain should observe if there are signs of swelling, enlargement of testicles and blood in the urine.

When the groin pain is characterized by severe abdominal pain that spreads to the scrotum, feeling of nausea and vomiting chance are that the pain is caused by kidney stones. These are the mineral stone that occur in the renal system. Since kidney stones cannot be treated at home, it's advisable to see the doctor.

The groin pain may also be caused by a swollen gland that is caused by an infection like sexually transmitted infections. The lower abdomen could have a dull ache pain suggesting that the male victim could be having either a penile or testicular cancer. Victims need to see a doctor immediately they experience the dull pain before cancer matures to complicated levels.

Treatment & Therapy

There are various tests the doctor will conduct to determine the exact cause of the groin pain. Once the tests have been conducted, the doctor will treat the problem by the underlying cause. A complete blood test (CBC) is carried out to determine if the male groin pain is caused by an infection.

X-ray tests help the doctor establish whether a fractured bone or testicular mass is the cause of the groin pain. For pain caused by an inguinal hernia, the doctor will insert a finger into the victim’s rectum and ask him to cough. The pressure caused by coughing in the abdomen pulls the intestines towards the hernia opening. An inguinal hernia is not a very dangerous issue although the treatment usually involves surgery to prevent it from enlarging.

Applications of ice and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen are usually applied where the pain is caused by ligament or muscle pull. For a permanent healing of the broken tendons, steroids are usually used. Serious damage to the bones that cause groin pain may force the doctor to perform surgeries.

Once the pain has been controlled, the victim needs to do some stretching exercises. The stretching exercise should be done gradually; starting from gentle stretches and advances to more dynamic activity. Massage is also recommended after the severe stage has gone for more than three days. Massaging unlocks stressed tendons and paves a way for a smooth blood flow.

Prevention & Prophylaxis

Before starting exercise, which may lead to stressing of ligaments in the groin area, warm the region by gently stretching the groin muscles. Stretching prepares the muscle for exercise without causing stress by moderating the range of motion and stiffness of the tendons.

After the exercise, it's good to stretch the muscles gently to facilitate smooth cool-down of the body. While exercising, the speed of running, intensity and length of the event should not be increased abruptly, but slowly and gradually. The gradual increase of the exercise ensures the muscle adjust to the stress without causing damage or groin pain. The exercise should also be regularly done. To avoid stiffness of the groin muscles, take enough water after and before the exercise.

Embrace protective measures to avoid contracting the sexually transmitted infection that will not only cause groin pain, but pose a serious health risk. Keep off from unprotected sex especially with partners who inhibit symptoms of sexual infections. Do not just use condoms, but use them correctly. Dry the body well after taking a shower to avoid catching a yeast infection. Avoid tight pants, but wear cotton and loose sports clothes.