Blue Balls: What Actually Happens In Your Body?

Blue Balls: What Actually Happens In Your Body?
Martin Moore
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How many times have we heard that if men don’t get enough sex their balls will turn blue? – countless times, that’s how many. I’ve personally seen teenagers getting so worked up and worried about blue balls and that something might happen to them if they don’t have sexual intercourse regularly. No wonder they’re so irritated all the time – when you’re always wondering if something bad might happen if you have sex and also the same if you’re not having sex, you’re bound to snap every five minutes.

Sex should be fun and having a clear understanding of sexual health should be necessary. A little research lets us know that not attaining an orgasm every single time you get aroused isn’t necessarily a serious condition…But what actually happens when you ‘get’ blue balls? 

Do the balls turn absolutely blue and you turn into a smurf? Or do the balls turn blue and then fall off? There’s a lot going on down there when you’re aroused and to understand what actually happens when you get the blue balls, you need to be a bit more informed about your body. This article will help clear out all your doubts – hey, this is why I do it.


The Basis For Blue Balls

Firstly, blue balls are what we kids are calling it – the medical term for it is epididymal hypertension. Epididymal hypertension is not at all that catchy or easy on the tongue, so we usually stick with blue balls. There’s actually a basis for calling it that and it’s very simple to understand why. Your balls, or any organ for that matter, are supposed to start turning blue when blood isn’t freely flowing through it. 

Understanding what is happening in the body while you’re aroused but haven’t orgasmed is not even as complicated as saying epididymal hypertension. So, let’s cover some basics of a man’s arousal to move ahead.

How do men get erections?

Men get aroused due to a number of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they are with someone they want to be with. Or, at times, it’s because the penis has been stimulated with physical interaction. Now, that’s all that mostly happens on the outside.

On the inside, when the neurons transmit the sexy signals to a man’s brain (it’s honestly just chemical reactions that happen throughout your body via neurons and their nerve endings – nobody in the scientific world would call these chemical reactions sexy signals but you and I can go ahead and call it that), the brain sends back signals to start the process of arousal, leading to an erection which finally leads to orgasm…

…or so we thought. Now, an orgasm might be delayed for multiple reasons – both physical and psychological. The process of arousal begins when the corpora cavernosa (a sponge-like entity in the anatomy of a male’s penis) starts to fill with blood. This blood creates the pressure necessary for an erection and it isn’t allowed, or rather it is restricted through natural anatomy, from flowing out of the penis to preserve that erection. (Find out more about the process of erection and orgasm here!)

What are blue balls and why call them that?

As I already mentioned once, where blood is involved, when it is flowing freely and everything is healthy the organs are pink and full of life… stagnancy leads to the deprivation of oxygen to this blood and turns it blue, in turn turning the organ blue. Blue balls occur when a man’s penis is filled with blood, all ready for ejaculation, but that ejaculation never happens. 

The veins that take away blood from a male’s penis are restricted and blocked during erections. This traps the blood inside and increases the blood flow to the penis resulting in the expanding and swelling up of your package. The blood inside is just stagnant, under high pressure, ready for action but it isn’t getting any.

Debunking All Myths: What Happens During Blue Balls?

Extremely serious or not, blue balls are very much an actual condition. Your balls might not turn a fluorescent shade of blue. However, there are some consequences of making your penis work so much and giving it false high hopes. You might experience some pain and discomfort, with added heaviness, if orgasm is prolonged or isn’t reached. 

When you’re aroused for too long, your penis either goes back to being flaccid or you orgasm – your body knows how important it is to let the pressure off and let the build-up of blood flow back naturally again. When you’re aroused or erect for longer than necessary, you will experience pain and discomfort for sure. And that is what blue balls do to you – turn the penis fluorescent blue or not.

There are added risks to ignoring this condition. When you start to feel the initial ache, try immediately to have an orgasm through either external or personal stimulation. Prolonged erections can cause the blood to stay stagnant and might cause your balls to actually turn blue – this indicates severe blockage of the blood. Any organ, not just the balls, will be rendered inactive and will be affected permanently if blood isn’t allowed to flow freely from it. 

See it this way, the blood – the actual lifeblood in your body – helps the engines (your organs) run by running through them themselves. Blood carries oxygen to and cleans out the waste from all the organs. Stopping this vital circulation for a long can damage the organs permanently.

How Do We Prevent Blue Balls?

As mentioned earlier, blue balls aren’t a seriously dangerous condition. However, that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to build yourself up and mount up to nothing. Biologically, the purpose of a male’s penis is ejaculation. Denying it what nature has willed its function to be deliberate will lead to some serious consequences. So, how do we prevent epididymal hypertension? (Remember, this is what they say in the scientific world – blue balls and sexy signals are terms to be used by only you and I.)

This temporary situation might go away on its own after a man orgasms. However here are a few things you could do to ease yourself out of a prolonged and distressing erection:

take a shower
  • Taking a cold shower might help. The cold water might help with restricting the further flow of blood to the penis while you work on releasing what’s already packed inside.
  • Masturbation or just having an orgasm is usually the best cure for blue balls but if that isn’t feasible, try lying down to keep the flow of blood away from the penis. You could also try exercising to regulate the blood flow more naturally in the body and not just be flowing towards the penis.
  • Lifting weights to increase pressure in areas of the body other than the groin could be helpful. This can be paired up with some light exercising if you’re not in a position where it’s possible or convenient to orgasm.
  • Applying something warm to the groin or testicles will help with the pain.

The easiest solution:

The best way to prevent blue balls is the release of the sperm. Unwanted erections, an unwelcome reaction to certain medications or even the failure to orgasm can lead to blue balls. In that case, simply try thinking about something else to distract yourself from thoughts that arouse you. Focussing on anything else, maybe work-related might solve the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to common questions about getting blue balls. If you have any additional ones, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Can my balls actually turn blue?

Your balls will not necessarily turn blue, even if there’s the faintest hue of blue to it. Although you will experience pain, aches, or discomfort for sure – it’s an extremely pins and needles kind of situation. 

If your balls start to turn blue, this means the build-up blood is facing some serious blockage while trying to flow out of your penis. At this stage, you need to get your medical attention immediately. Try and make the erection go away as soon as possible. Then pay attention to whether you still experience any pain or discomfort after. The color of your balls should return to normal in under just a few minutes. If it doesn’t, you should consult a doctor.


Please don’t wait around for your balls to turn blue. Either ejaculate or try to bring the erection down before it gets to a stage where it hurts so much that it feels like your penis might fall off any moment now.

The appearance of blue or purple hues in your balls is serious. Blue balls, albeit called that, do not turn your balls blue. There is a condition called Testicular Torsion that needs serious medical attention. It causes your balls to turn blue with or without erections. If you see your balls turning blue and this starts to happen frequently, it’s time for a trip to the doctor’s office.

Injury and kidney stones are two other reasons that cause your balls or the area around your groin to hurt. Taking proper medication after consulting with your doctor is advised in such cases.

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