What is groin pain?

Groin pain is any discomfort in the groin area. The groin area is where your abdomen ends and your legs begin. The groin is also called the inguinal area and includes your upper inner thigh as well as the front area where your legs attach to your torso.

In men, groin pain may also refer to pain that radiates into or from the scrotum or the testicles within the scrotum. Women may experience groin pain due to a condition of the genitals or reproductive organs. Pain can also radiate into the groin from a condition of the hip, lower spine, pelvis, kidney, bladder, or colon.

Pain is usually a sign of inflammation, disease, or direct injury to a particular area of the groin. The groin may appear swollen, red or tender to the touch. Groin pain can be due to serious infections, inflammation, trauma, malignancy (cancer), and other abnormal processes. 

A very common cause of groin pain is a groin pull, a strain of the inner thigh muscles. A groin pull often occurs due to an activity that involves running, skating, jumping or swimming. Groin pulls are a common injury in such sports as football, baseball, hockey, soccer, and track and field.

Depending on the cause, groin pain can begin suddenly and disappear quickly, such as from a pinched nerve associated with a minor injury. Groin pain that develops over time and occurs along with additional symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), inguinal hernia, or testicular cancer.

Because groin pain can be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition, you should seek prompt medical care and talk with your medical professional about your symptoms. Sudden groin pain in men with swelling of the scrotum, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are symptoms of testicular torsion, which is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you experience these symptoms.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with groin pain?

Groin pain may be accompanied by other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, groin pain due to an infection may be associated with a fever, redness and warmth around the affected area.

Symptoms that may occur along with groin pain

Symptoms that m... Read more about groin painsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes groin pain?

Groin pain can be caused by a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions including infectious diseases, trauma, malignancy (cancer), and other abnormal processes. Groin pain can also be due to a problem in another area, such as the hip. This is called referred groin pain. In some cases, groin pain is a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition.

Injury-related ... Read more about groin paincauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.