YOU may have heard the term ‘blue balls’ bandied around – especially between teenage boys.
But one doctor has said that the phenomenon is real and isn’t just an excuse men use to have sex.
GettyIf you’ve ever heard the term blue balls and not believed it – experts say there is actually truth behind the tale[/caption]
The term is usually used to describe a sexual situation which doesn’t result in an orgasm.
Some men often find that the skin that covers their ball sack, turns a slightly blueish colour – which is said to happen if they have not ‘relieved’ themselves for a long time.
Australian GP, Dr Sam Hay said the issue is real, but that it is a temporary condition – with it’s medical name being epidydimal hypertension.
He explained: “I always thought blue balls was this urban myth that if you stay aroused for [too] long your balls will go blue and they’ll fall off and the only way to relieve it is to, you know, have some fun and you’ve got to get your partner to help you out with it.
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“I thought it was a complete excuse for guys to get off. But it’s actually true.
“If you become aroused for a long time, you get lots of blood going down to the testicles and it increases the pressure.
“And if you don’t [ejaculate] then that pressure becomes achy… I’ve found out that there’s research out there to prove that it exists.”
He highlighted the pain will go away, and if it doesn’t then you should seek medical advice as this could be down to a different problem.
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Experts at LloydsPharmacy state that the condition is due to pressure building up in the epididymis.
This is the coiled tube that joins the site of sperm production with another tube (the vas deferens) that eventually leads out.
They added: “If you’re able to orgasm and ejaculate, blood flow will return to normal and you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.
“If you’re not able to ejaculate, you might find that you develop “blue balls”, due to a build-up of pressure in the epididymis and increased blood flow in the testicles.
“You’re more likely to experience blue balls when you’re sexually inexperienced and more easily sexually aroused.
“This is why it’s more common in teenagers. It might also be a problem for men who use masturbation techniques such as edging to delay ejaculation.”
If you’re unlucky enough to experience blue balls then it will likely leave you in severe discomfort.
Experts say an easy solution is to have sex or masturbate.
But if you’re not in a position to do this then you could have a cold shower, exercise, listen to music or find a distraction to keep you busy.
When to get help
If you regularly experience the condition – and if you have it when you’re not aroused – it could be down to something else.
For example, a range of sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea can cause inflammation – which is similar to blue balls.
Other illness that might display similar symptoms include mumps, or testicular torsion.
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You might also have kidney stones or a urinary tract infection.
“Sometimes, the cause of the pain might be trauma to the testicles due to an injury or from wearing overly tight underwear or trousers. Rarely, pain or tenderness in the testicles is a sign of testicular cancer”, the experts added.