The Truth About Blue Balls

Blue balls don’t just happen to sexually frustrated teenagers.

Blue balls is a condition that some men experience after prolonged sexual arousal without release. It is caused by a buildup of blood in the genital area, known as vasocongestion, which can lead to pain and discomfort in the testicles. In this post, we will explore the medical mechanisms behind blue balls, its symptoms, and treatment options.

What are Blue Balls and How Does It Happen?

Let’s start with a true story from our urologist on the FirmTech board, Amy Pearlman. A young basketball player walked into her office with an important question. 

“I’ve been told that blue balls are not real, but they absolutely are. Dr. Pearlman, can you please explain what blue balls are?” a collegiate basketball player asked her during a men’s health educational session. And he was right. Blue balls are real. 

“Great question,” I began. “Let’s talk about epididymal hypertension.” Blue balls, also known as epididymal hypertension or vasocongestion syndrome, occurs when the blood vessels in the genital area become engorged with blood during sexual arousal. This increased blood flow causes the genitals to become swollen and sensitive. If the arousal does not result in ejaculation or orgasm, the blood may remain trapped in the genitals, leading to pain and discomfort in the testicles.

The primary symptom of blue balls is testicular pain or discomfort. Men may also experience aching, heaviness, or swelling in the scrotum. Psychological symptoms can also occur, such as anxiety or frustration due to the lack of release. It is important to recognize these symptoms and seek treatment to prevent further discomfort.

Treatment and Prevention of Blue Balls

The most effective treatment for blue balls is ejaculation, which can be achieved through sexual activity or masturbation. Orgasm! Ejaculation helps to release the trapped blood and reduce the swelling and discomfort. Alternatively, a cold compress applied to the genital area can also help to reduce discomfort and swelling.

To prevent blue balls from occurring in the future, it is important to communicate with sexual partners about sexual needs and boundaries. Regular sexual activity, whether alone or with a partner, can also help to prevent blue balls. Practicing safe sex and using condoms during sexual activity can help prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while also providing an outlet for sexual release.

Myth Busting: Debunking Common Misconceptions about Blue Balls

There are several common misconceptions about blue balls that are important to address. First, blue balls is not a serious medical condition and do not cause long-term damage. Second, blue balls does not affect fertility or the ability to have children. Finally, it is important to note that experiencing blue balls is not a sign of weakness or inadequacy as a sexual partner.