What Causes Groin Pain? What Are the Causes of Groin Pain in Men and Women?

Groin pain can be caused by muscle strains or tears in the tendon, especially in athletes. Nerve damage and nerve compression can also cause groin pain. The most common cause of groin pain in men and women is hernias or swollen lymph nodes. Read below to learn more about the causes of groin pain and how to treat it.

What is the groin, what is the groin pain?

Your groin is a complex area where your stomach ends and your legs begin. The network of muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels around the groin can make diagnosing the cause of groin pain a particularly difficult task. It should be noted; Groin pain is a common problem in both men and women.

Athletes often feel pain in and around the groin, perhaps after taking a wrong step or suffering a sports injury. The muscles in the area receive a lot of stress during physical activity and are particularly vulnerable to stretching and pulling.

What are the symptoms accompanying groin pain?

Both men and women can have a stabbing or dull pain in the groin, but is usually worsened with movement and may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • hip pain
  • difficulty walking
  • Pain that increases with touch
  • Impaired exercise tolerance
  • Swelling around the thigh and buttocks

What causes groin pain?

Whether you’re a man or a woman, the many muscles in your groin area provide important support to your core and also allow you to bend, rotate and move your legs. Many of their functions make them vulnerable to injury.

While athletes often complain of these injuries, non-athletes who put sudden stress on their bodies can also suffer from painful problems.

The hip joints are closely linked to the muscles and nerves in the groin, so joint problems can cause groin pain. Groin pain may also indicate a problem with the genitourinary system.

1- Musculoskeletal system causes

Musculoskeletal causes of groin pain may include:

  • Muscle and tendon injury: Probably the most common cause of groin pain is small muscle and tendon tears in the area. These conditions can cause excruciating pain.
  • Nerve compression: Direct compression of a nerve can produce intense discomfort, often described as warmth in the area or a sprawling sensation.
  • Stress fracture: Intense training or overuse can cause very small bone fractures that are painful but typically heal on their own.
  • Arthritis: Wear and tear can damage the hip joints over time, causing discomfort radiating from the groin area.
  • Bursitis: The supporting fluid-filled sacs that act as a cushion between the muscles, tendons, and bones near the joints can become painfully inflamed.

2- Genitourinary causes

Genitourinary causes of groin pain may include:

  • Urinary tract infection:
    The bladder is located in the groin area. If the bladder becomes infected (inflamed) it can become painful.
  • Testicular pain:
    Infection or problems with blood flow can cause pain that feels like it’s radiating from a man’s testicles to the groin.

3- Other reasons

Other causes of groin pain may include:

  • An inguinal hernia: An organ like the intestine can rupture the muscles that hold it in place, leading to a painful bulge worsened by coughing.
  • Lymph node swelling: Lymph nodes are located on either side of the groin area and may become swollen due to an infection or other reasons.
  • Kidney stones: Pain from the kidneys triggered by kidney stones can spread throughout the body and reach the groin.
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What are the conditions that trigger groin pain in men and women?

Below you will find possible triggers for groin pain and what to do:

1- Inguinal hernia

In an inguinal hernia, it means that a structure in the lower abdomen – a ring of intestine or a section of fat – is pushing the muscles of the abdominal wall. This creates a bulge or hernia that can be seen and felt in the groin.

A hernia is caused by a weak spot in the abdominal wall muscles, and this can be due to heavy lifting or repeated straining. Weakness can also be inherited (genetic) or caused by previous surgery, injury, or pregnancy.

Symptoms include a bulge below the abdomen, which is most visible when the person stands up. Pain in the area of ​​the bloat occurs with any strain on the abdominal muscles, such as lifting a heavy object or bending over.

Inguinal hernias are most common in men who lift heavy weights, but women can also be affected by an inguinal hernia, although rare.

A hernia does not heal on its own. There is a risk of serious complications if the blood flow to the herniated organ is reduced or interrupted.

Diagnosis; physical examination is done by x-ray or computed tomography scan . A small hernia may not require treatment. Larger ones can be treated with surgery.

2- Inguinal abscess

An inguinal abscess is caused by an infection of the skin or subcutaneous area. Infection is usually caused by bacteria. The immune system responds by forming a ball of inflammation around the bacteria and is common.

Significant symptoms include groin pain and a lump (swelling) in the right or left groin, which can sometimes be painful and hard . If the abscess is on the right side, right inguinal pain and lump, if it is on the left side, right inguinal pain and lump is a symptom that always occurs.

3- Hip bursitis

Bursitis are small fluid-filled sacs placed in strategic locations around the body to provide a cushion and help reduce friction. Hip bursitis is inflammation of the hip bursa and causes pain at the hip point . The pain may also radiate beyond the thigh area. It is a rare condition.

Major symptoms include thigh pain, groin pain, hip limp, cracking or clicking sensation, pain in the front of the hip.

4- Ankylosing spondylitis

“Ankylosing” means that the joint has become stiff and fixed in one position due to injury or disease. “Spondylitis” means inflammation of the joints of the spine. In ankylosing spondylitis, the inflammation has damaged the lumbar vertebrae and caused a form of arthritis.

Related article: All about ankylosing spondylitis

5- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome, also known as BTAS, is a common hip condition that causes pain on the outside of your thigh/hip muscle These symptoms are usually caused by injury to the soft tissues that lie on the upper side of the thighbone and can also cause groin pain.

Other symptoms include pain when lying on your side, tenderness to the touch, altered gait pattern, and pain when walking.

6- Mild to moderate hip arthritis

Hip arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints in the hip. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the main symptoms of arthritis. Hip arthritis can make it difficult to do many daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a condition that affects women as well as men. For many people, this is the primary reason for leaving the job and a serious disability.

Symptoms include a change in gait, pain in the area and groin. Inflammation in the left hip may cause left inguinal pain, and in the right hip, right inguinal pain may occur.

7- Nerve compression

In the groin, there are several nerves that supply the inner thigh and genital area. Compression or irritation of one of these nerves can cause pain or numbness in this area. This is usually due to an operation in this area, but it can also happen for no particular reason and is rare.

The main symptom of nerve compression is a feeling of numbness. Numbness can be felt in the thigh, groin, and testis. Also; It can cause sharp pain in the testis, scrotum, and groin.

What causes groin pain in men?

Here are the causes of groin pain in men, substance by substance:

1- Epidemic

Epididymitis is inflammation of the epididymis, a duct located behind the testicles. Epididymitis pain may start in the groin and then descend to the testicles. Testicular swelling may occur along with fever and chills (though less common).

Epididymitis symptoms include:

  • pain in the scrotum
  • Swelling and redness in the testis
  • bleeding from semen
  • fever and chills
  • pain when urinating
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2- Testicular torsion

Testicular torsion is a dangerous condition that occurs when the structure that carries the nerves to the testicles (spermatic cord) bends on itself, resulting in severe and sudden groin and testicular pain. It requires urgent intervention.

The typical symptom of testicular torsion is severe groin pain that develops very quickly, usually within a few hours. The pain may also be in the lower abdomen. This is because the testicles and abdomen share the same nerve supply. In some cases, nausea and vomiting may also occur.

3- Prostatitis

Prostatitis refers to four different conditions that affect the prostate gland. Two types of prostatitis are linked to urinary tract infections (UTIs) . Other species are not associated with it. Men with prostatitis may have infection, inflammation, or pain. Depending on the location of the infection and inflammation, groin pain in men can occur on the right or left side. Adult men of all ages can get prostatitis.

Prostatitis symptoms include:

  • Pain in the penis, testicles, or perineum
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Painful urination (dysuria)
  • weak urine flow
  • painful ejaculation during intercourse
  • bleeding from semen
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)

4- Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is a disease that occurs when cancerous (malignant) cells develop in the tissues of a testicle. The development of cancerous cells can occur in both testicles, but this is rare, usually seen in one testis. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35 years. The disease is usually treatable.

Testicular cancer symptoms include:

  • Swelling or sudden fluid collection in the testicle area
  • Feeling of heaviness in the testicle area
  • Lump or swelling in both testicles
  • Fluid buildup in the testicle area
  • Mild pain in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort in and around the groin

What causes groin pain in women?

1- Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when infectious bacteria, viruses, or other microscopic infected foreign substances enter your urinary tract.

Your urinary tract consists of:

  • kidneys, which filter chemicals and other substances from your body
  • ureters that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder
  • bladder that stores urine
  • the urethra, which removes urine from your body

Most UTIs only affect the lower urinary tract. It consists of the urethra and bladder. Inguinal pain, which can be felt on the right or left side, may be caused by tissue inflammation in one of these areas. UTIs affecting the upper side, including the ureters and kidneys, are not common but tend to cause more severe pain.

UTIs are more common in women than men because the urethra in women is much shorter. This means that infectious bacteria or matter can pass more quickly and easily from the urethra to the bladder and, in some cases, through the ureters, which connect the bladder to the kidneys.

2- Ovarian cyst

The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system and are located on both the right and left sides of the uterus. Eggs develop here, then estrogen and progesterone hormones are formed.

Ovarian cysts are relatively common and do not always result in symptoms. A common symptom of an ovarian cyst is groin pain that radiates from your groin area to your hips and lower abdomen. If there is a cyst in the right ovary, right inguinal pain is felt, if there is a cyst in the left ovary, left inguinal pain is felt.

Other possible symptoms that may accompany groin pain in women include:

  • Feeling of pressure in the groin area
  • swelling that appears on the skin
  • If the cyst ruptures, sharp and severe pain (this is a medical emergency)

3- Pregnancy

Groin pain during pregnancy is a relatively common symptom you may experience during the second and third trimesters, especially when the uterus begins to expand rapidly. That’s because there are several ligaments that keep your uterus stable and secure while you’re pregnant.

One of the ligaments is called the round ligament . This ligament at the front of your groin typically expands and contracts slowly as you move. But as your uterus expands as the fetus grows, this ligament can be sprained or injured more easily because it has to work harder than when you’re not pregnant.

Stretching this ligament can cause dull pain felt in the groin. Straining or tearing this ligament can cause stabbing pain in your groin area.

4- Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy , also known as an ectopic pregnancy, is quite common, occurring in one to two percent of all pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, which is the normal region of fetal development. The hallmark symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding.

You can also read the following articles in detail for unilateral groin pain in women.

  • right groin pain in women
  • left groin pain in women
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When to see a doctor for groin pain?

It is important to see a doctor if:

  • If the onset of pain is sudden and severe
  • If you have nausea, vomiting, fever or chills accompanying the pain
  • If you have severe testicular pain radiating to the groin
  • if you have urination problems, including blood in your urine

Which doctor should I go to for groin pain?

The first doctor you should go to for groin pain is your family doctor. Your family doctor may refer you to a urologist or orthopedic doctor after evaluating your groin pain. Depending on the cause of your groin pain, your family doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist.

How does groin pain go?

Many causes of groin pain are minor muscle injuries and these can usually be taken care of at home. In some cases, your doctor may treat you to address the problem, especially if it doesn’t resolve on its own or the pain experienced is particularly severe.

Medical treatment

If your groin pain does not go away, your doctor may suggest the following possible treatments:

  • Physical therapy:
    A professional can teach more advanced movement techniques and target treatment for the specific area of ​​injury.
  • X-ray: Your doctor may order another imaging method, such as an
    X-ray, computed tomography, or MRI (MRI) to evaluate the cause of your pain.
  • Steroid injections:
    If your pain is caused by inflammation in a joint or the surrounding area, steroids can treat this problem.
  • Antibiotics:
    Although not commonly used for groin pain, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if a bacterial infection is suspected.
  • Surgery:
    Surgery can address more severe muscle tears and other issues such as bone fractures or a hernia that may be the source of your discomfort.

What is good for groin pain?

Here are the things that are good for groin pain:

  1. Rest:
    While this can be difficult for active people, it is especially important to rest the injured area for at least 1-2 weeks until the pain subsides.
  2. Pain relievers:
    Over-the-counter pain medications are great for short-term management of groin pain.
  3. Ice:
    Ice packs applied to the groin and thigh are an easy and effective way to relieve discomfort.
  4. Heat:
    Some people may find heating pads set to a comfortable temperature more helpful than ice.
  5. Support:
    Underwear that fits your crotch can be soothing for some causes of groin pain.
  6. Stretching:
    Gentle stretching of the injured area can help during recovery and should be done before any workout.

Does groin pain cause erectile dysfunction?

Groin pain does not usually cause erectile dysfunction or erectile dysfunction (impotence) . However, if you are experiencing pain in the groin or the surrounding area due to trauma or hip fracture, you may also have damaged the nerves and blood vessels needed to achieve and maintain an erection.

Why does the groin hurt after running or walking?

If you experience groin pain after running or walking, it’s possible that a tendon or ligament is stretched or torn. You can reduce the risk of injury by stretching before running and increasing the flexibility of your hip joint. Wearing appropriate shoes and maintaining a healthy weight while running and walking can also reduce your risk of injury.

Which sexual diseases cause groin pain?

Sexually transmitted diseases that cause groin pain include genital herpes , caused by the herpes simplex virus, and chancroid, caused by the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi. Other STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia , can also rarely cause pain.

What causes groin pain after erection?

Pain during erection can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes and chancroid. Alternatively, there is a condition known as priapism , where you experience erections that last for hours . Priapism is often, but not always, painful. It is caused by increased blood flow to the penis or a small amount of blood flowing out of the penis.

Why is groin pain more severe at night?

Groin pain that is worse at night can be caused by osteoarthritis or tendinitis of the hip joints. If you notice more pain while lying down, you may have an uncomfortable mattress or sleep in an unusual position.

What causes back and leg pain in the left or right groin?

Sciatica refers to pain felt along the path of the sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back to your hips, groin, and each leg. Since the sciatic nerve is long, the pain caused by sciatic is felt in quite a lot of areas. If you have sciatic pain, it is quite normal to feel pain in the left or right groin that radiates to the lower back and leg .

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