How to treat testicular torsion when you are in an isolated location

How to treat testicular torsion when you are in an isolated location
How to treat testicular torsion when you are in an isolated location

We speak of testicular torsion when there is twisting of the spermatic cord responsible for transporting blood from the abdomen to the groin. Although this problem can affect any man, young adolescents and those who have inherited the gene that governs the trait that causes the gonads to spin freely in the scrotum are especially prone to it. Testicular torsion should be treated by a doctor to minimize the risk of losing testicles and having fertility problems. However, if you are in nature or in a remote area and have this problem, it is necessary to assess the situation and fix the testicle close to the body while you go to the doctor so that you can save the testicle..


Part 1 of 2: reduce discomfort and twist

Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 1

Step 1. Identify the symptoms

Maybe you've developed testicular torsion in the past, or it could be your first time. By recognizing the signs early and getting medical attention, you can reduce the risk of one of the serious consequences, such as loss of the testicle. The symptoms and signs of testicular torsion are:

  • sudden, severe pain in the scrotum;
  • swelling of the scrotum;
  • abdominal pain;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • higher than normal position of the testes;
  • abnormal positioning of the testes;
  • painful urination;
  • fever.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 2

Step 2. Get help immediately

If you have any of the signs of testicular torsion, it is essential to call for help without delay, as you only have 6 to 8 hours before the gonad begins to damage. This way, you will reduce the risk of losing the testicle or not being able to have children.

  • Check if you (or someone nearby) have mobile network reception. If you are in a wild and isolated area this can be a problem. It may be helpful to go to the highest visible point.
  • If no one has a phone that can make a call, find the nearest ranger station. They will have means of communication and medical equipment that can help reduce discomfort while waiting for the arrival of medical personnel.
  • Testicular torsion should be treated by a healthcare professional and is often operated on. It is therefore of paramount importance to contact the emergency services quickly.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 3

Step 3. Take pain relievers

Since testicular torsion often causes a lot of pain, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help ease the discomfort until you can see a doctor and get treatment.

  • You might take ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium to ease the discomfort.
  • Naproxen or ibuprofen can help decrease the associated swelling.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 4

Step 4. Secure the testicle close to the body

The testicles can be twisted if they are not firmly fixed in the scrotum. Make sure to secure them close to the body until you can manage to leave the wild area where you are to prevent them from experiencing further rotation around the pedicle.

  • Wrap a towel or other cloth around the affected area. Then, attach the chosen accessory to the body to ensure the stability of the scrotum.
  • By keeping the testicle in place and limiting your movement, you may be able to relieve some of the pain you feel when you walk or sit.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 5

Step 5. Make sure you get as much rest as possible

Strenuous movement or activity can cause a twist. For this reason, you'd better get some rest so as to minimize the risk of making the situation worse.

If you are in a wilderness area, before heading to the ranger station or other safe place, rest for a while and try to calm down

Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 6

Step 6. Slow down your movements

If you must walk to a safe place or to a ranger station, do it as slowly as possible to further reduce the risk of testicular rotation and to control discomfort.

  • Make sure you walk on as level ground as possible and pay attention to every step you take.
  • If you are in the company of other people, ask them to support you as you walk.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 7

Step 7. Drink only when you need it

Too much fluid will increase pressure on the bladder as well as the genital area, and urination can be painful. For this reason, be sure to drink only when you need it so as not to aggravate the condition and the discomfort.

When taking pain relievers, drink only enough water for the pill to get into your body

Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 8

Step 8. Try to untwist the testicle with your hands

If you cannot get medical attention quickly and are in a remote area, consider rotating the testicle in the opposite direction to return it to its original position. However, be aware that this is a rather painful procedure and it is not without risk.

  • Support the testicle with your hands, as if you were holding a book.
  • Rotate it from the midline of the body outwards or from the middle to the sides. Use a movement similar to what you would use to open a book.
  • If it hurts too much or you have symptoms like vomiting or fainting, be sure to stop immediately.
  • Manual repositioning of the testicle is not a substitute for proper medical care.
  • If you are successful, this only guarantees a decrease in discomfort and a lowering of the testicle into the scrotum.

Part 2 of 2: prevent testicular torsion

Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 9

Step 1. Find out more about your level of risk

Knowing your risk of having it can help you avoid it. Although in some cases the cause is not at all clear, the risk factors that make torsion more common are:

  • age: it is more common in infants and children at the onset of puberty;
  • connective tissue defects of the scrotum;
  • scrotal injuries;
  • family history;
  • previous cases of testicular torsions.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 10

Step 2. Make sure to protect your testicles

The torsion can occur as a result of minor trauma or even during sleep. By protecting the scrotum with a jockstrap or testicular jockstrap, you can minimize the risk of suffering from it.

  • Wear the jockstrap whenever you plan to play a contact sport, such as soccer or rugby.
  • Wear a testicular hanger (male underwear that looks like a brief) to support your testicles to prevent them from twisting.
  • Keep your underwear on while you sleep.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 11

Step 3. Don't do too vigorous activities

Very strenuous exercise or activity can trigger the twists. Avoid any activity that may cause your testicles to move in a way that could cause twisting.

  • If you are a runner or do a lot of running sports, consider wearing a testicular jockstrap to reduce your risk.
  • Be aware that general physical activity does not cause this problem, and twists can also occur when sitting, standing, sleeping, or exercising. One of the typical situations is actually waking up suddenly in the middle of the night or early in the morning with scrotal pain.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 12

Step 4. Keep the body temperature at a normal level

Extreme cold increases the risk of suffering from it. By keeping the body and scrotum at a normal temperature, you can avoid this problem.

  • Avoid sitting on cold surfaces, especially in winter. You should also avoid any that do not conduct heat very much, such as stones or rocks.
  • In case you are out in nature during the winter, be sure to wear protective clothing to prevent the temperature in the testicles from getting too low. Wear pants and testicular suspenders that will keep the scrotum close to the body.
Treat Torsion of the Testis in the Wilderness Step 13

Step 5. Undergo orchidopexy

It is a procedure to fix the testicle inside the scrotum. In many cases, twisting can be avoided with intervention. If you know you are at risk or have developed this problem in the past, talk to your doctor.

  • The procedure, which requires a period of hospitalization, involves fixing both sides of the testicles inside the scrotum.
  • See a urologist, who specializes in male genitalia, to discuss your options.


Testicular torsion is more common in people between the ages of 10 and 25


  • It is essential to seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can get treatment, which minimizes the risk of serious problems.
  • By going to the doctor within six hours and getting treatment, you have a 90% chance of saving the testicle. After this period, the odds drop by 40%.

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