The phrase blue balls found its way into our pop-culture vocabulary as a slang term for sexual experiences deemed frustrating, irritating and mildly painful.
The true nature of the expression originates in the body's private area.
Did you know that blue balls is an actual medical condition?
This article will discuss all things associated with blue balls syndrome and the different treatment methods.
In this article:
What Is Blue Balls
Blue balls, AKA epididymal hypertension, is a temporary condition that refers to the testicular scrotal pain experienced when a man becomes sexually aroused for a prolonged period without orgasm.
While blue balls is a common phenomenon relating to the male genitalia, this condition is not exclusive to men — more on this in a moment!ALSO READ: Sex Positions to Help Men Last Longer
What Is the Cause of Blue Balls
When aroused, men experience a rush of blood flow down into their genitals, causing their penis and testicles to expand, eventually leading to an erection.
During sexual intercourse or masturbation, this build-up of tension can be released by ejaculating. With orgasm, there is a near-immediate sensation of relief in the genital region and a drop in arousal levels.
However, maintaining an erection for extended periods causes blue balls. That can happen when men either delay ejaculation or practice semen retention.ALSO READ: Premature Ejaculation: A Man's Ultimate Guide
Will a vasectomy cause blue balls?
Many men wonder about the repercussions of vasectomy on their sexual health. While the first few ejaculations following this procedure may be uncomfortable, board-certified Urologist Dr. Gary Bellman mentions that this type of "epididymal congestion" will typically resolve within the first three months.
After this time, you'll no longer experience a heavy sensation or mild pain associated with masturbation or other forms of sexual activity.ALSO READ: How to Last Longer in Bed: 13 Actionable Tips for Men
What Does Blue Balls Feel Like
Men describe blue balls symptoms as being an "aching sensation" or feeling "heavy" or "full" in the scrotal region.
Due to the swelling caused by increased fluid and blood accumulation, it's common to experience mild discomfort and even some pain that can migrate up toward the lower back.
While in most cases, the physical symptoms are generally mild, Urologist Dr. Stanton Honig mentions other symptoms related to epididymal hypertension, including anxiety, irritability and an intense desire to ejaculate.ALSO READ: Sexual Performance Anxiety: What to Know
What Do Blue Balls Look Like
Due to the increased volume of blood flow in the area, blue balls (as the name describes) cause the testicles to turn to a faint blue tint — sort of like when you get an injury and the inflammation in the area puts pressure on the skin and makes it turn purple/blue.
Once blood flows out of the area, symptoms can resolve!ALSO READ: Top 7 Nofap Benefits: Here’s Even More What to Know
How Long Do Blue Balls Last
Blue balls is a temporary condition likely to resolve within several hours. While it is uncommon to require immediate medical help, long-term pain may indicate something more serious.
Suppose you're experiencing mild pain in the scrotum without arousal, groin aches, lower back pain, or a testicle lump. In that case, it may be related to more severe conditions such as:
- Epididymitis (inflammation of the testicles)
- Infection causing inflammation of the testicles
- Diabetic neuropathy in the genital region
- Kidney stones
- Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate)
- Testicular cancer
- Testicular torsion
How to Get Rid of Blue Balls
When it comes to treatment methods, plenty of natural remedies can help relieve symptoms of blue balls.
Although having a consenting partner to help out is a bonus, general practitioner Dr. Rhys Young mentions that there is no reason men can't help themselves just as quickly!
Here are the top 5 methods to help you eliminate blue balls.
There's nothing quite like self-gratification to help you de-stress from a build-up of tension in your body.
Masturbating to completion is a surefire method to help you ejaculate without needing a partner and relax the penis from being erect for an extended period.
When we lift weights or exercise our heart and lungs, we redirect our blood and oxygen toward our working muscles rather than our genitals.
Since blood flow is the major culprit to the discomfort in those experiencing blue balls, exercise is a beneficial trick to force the excess blood remaining in the groin region to flow elsewhere.
3. Cold shower
When in doubt, hop into a cold shower! Sex expert Annabelle Knight mentions that in colder conditions, the blood vessels in the penis will shut down, causing it to shrink, thus decreasing the size or strength of an erection.
Similarly, a cold compress applied to the testicles can be beneficial if you'd rather avoid submerging your entire body underwater.
Another great way to treat blue balls is through meditation. Giving your mind a healthy distraction from your symptoms can lower your levels of sexual arousal and help redistribute blood to relieve tension.
5. Over-the-counter analgesics
Suppose your symptoms persist even after practicing the other methods of relief described above.
In that case, there is the option of taking over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol to minimize pain and discomfort or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil or ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation and scrotal swelling.ALSO READ: Home Remedies for Premature Ejaculation
Can Women Experience Blue Balls
Although the term "blue balls" is used to describe the male genitals, other terms are the female equivalent. Some common expressions for this include the "blue vulva" or the "pink pelvis".
Certified sexologist Gigi Engle mentions that the clitoris and the penis are biologically similar. Therefore it's only reasonable to assume women can experience an increased blood flow to the vaginal region, causing a build-up of pressure, pain and tension.ALSO READ: 14 Essential Sex Tips for Men to Enhance Intimacy and Her Satisfaction
- Epididymal hypertension is the medical term used to describe blue balls
- This condition is commonly caused by prolonged arousal without climaxing or ejaculating
- Symptoms of blue balls include mild testicular pain, an aching sensation and a blue-ish hue of the scrotum
- While the term' blue balls' is a common phenomenon relating to the male genitalia, this condition is very common in women as well
- In the majority of cases, neither blue balls nor blue vulva/pink pelvis require any medical attention and can be treated with masturbation, exercise, cold showers, meditation or by taking over-the-counter medication