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Testicle facts that every man should know

A lot of men have misconceptions and false information about the male reproductive organ. Many patients ask questions like, “What size should testicles be?” or “Why does one testicle hang lower than the other?” If you have thought of such questions, this article will help you answer them. It will help you understand the size, orientation, functions, and how to conduct a testicular self-examination.

Testes development

The testicles, also known as testes, are two small, egg-shaped organs located inside the scrotum, which is a loose sac of skin that hangs behind the penis. The testicles are responsible for producing sperm, which is necessary for reproduction. The testicles also produce testosterone, the male sex hormone, which is responsible for male sexual development, bone and muscle growth, and the production of red blood cells.

The testes develop in the stomach, and they slowly descend into the scrotum as the baby grows older. Usually, the left testis descends first and then the right testis.There are often cases of delayed testis descent in male babies, and it’s usually the right testis, which is very common. If you look at an average male’s reproductive organ, you will notice that the left testes hang a bit lower than the right one; this distance can be 1 or 2 cm. This difference is not cause for concern and does not affect your health or reproductive functions in any way.

In winter, when the temperatures are low, the dartos muscle in the scrotum contracts and pulls the testes closer to the stomach. Even when you are excited, sexually active, anxious, or tense, the scrotum contracts and pulls the testicles up.In the same way, when the temperature goes up in the summer, the muscles in the scrotum relax to keep the temperature stable.


Many patients are worried about the position of the testes; they often question why one testis hangs lower than the other. But, as we’ve already said, this is normal and nothing to worry about. Similarly, both testes differ in size too; there can be a 10% difference in volume and size between the testes. The average testes size ranges from 12 ml to 20 ml, and the size of your testes can be measured with a device called an orchidometer (a simple reference scale used to measure the volume of the tests) or by an ultrasound test.

Conditions that cause testes to shrink

Testicular atrophy, or shrinkage of the testes, can occur for several reasons. Here are some possible causes:

Age: Testicular atrophy is a natural part of the aging process. As men age, the testes may shrink in size and produce less testosterone.

Testicular torsion is a medical emergency that happens when the spermatic cord, which brings blood to the testes, gets twisted. This can cut off blood flow to the testes and cause tissue damage, which can lead to testicular atrophy.

Varicocele: A varicocele is a condition in which the veins in the scrotum become enlarged and twisted, causing blood to flow back into the testicles. Over time, this can cause testicular atrophy.

Infections: Certain infections, such as mumps or orchitis, can cause inflammation of the testicles, which can lead to testicular atrophy.

Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by hypogonadism or anabolic steroid use, can lead to testicular atrophy.

Radiation or chemotherapy: Radiation therapy or chemotherapy used to treat cancer can damage the testicles, leading to testicular atrophy.

Trauma or injury: Trauma or injury to the testicles can cause damage to the tissue, which can lead to testicular atrophy.

Conditions that cause testes to enlarge

Testicular enlargement, or swelling of the testicles, can occur for several reasons. Here are some possible causes:

Infections: Infections of the testicles, epididymis, or prostate gland can cause swelling and enlargement of the testicles. Common infections that can lead to testicular enlargement include epididymitis, orchitis, and prostatitis.

Varicocele: A varicocele is a condition in which the veins in the scrotum become enlarged and twisted, causing blood to flow back into the testicles. This can cause the testicles to swell and become enlarged.

Testicular cancer: Testicular cancer can cause one or both testicles to become enlarged or swollen. Other symptoms of testicular cancer may include pain, lumps or bumps in the testicles, and a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.

Hydrocele: A hydrocele is a buildup of fluid in the sac surrounding the testicles. This can cause the testicles to become enlarged and swollen.

Injury or trauma: Injury or trauma to the testicles can cause swelling and enlargement. This can occur as a result of sports injuries, car accidents, or other types of trauma.

Testicular self-examination

Testicular self-examination (TSE) is a simple, non-invasive examination that men can perform on themselves to check for any unusual lumps or swelling in the testicles. It is recommended that men perform TSE once a month.

Here are the steps to perform TSE:

Stand in front of a mirror and examine the scrotum for any swelling or abnormalities in size, shape, or texture.

Hold your penis out of the way and gently feel each testicle, one at a time, using both hands. Place your index and middle fingers under the testicle with your thumb on top, and gently roll the testicle between your fingers. You should feel for any lumps or bumps, as well as any changes in size, shape, or consistency.

Don’t forget to feel the epididymis, a cord-like structure behind each testicle that stores and transports sperm.

Repeat the process with the other testicle.

If you notice any changes, such as a lump, swelling, pain, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, it is important to see a doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible. Most changes are not cancerous, but early detection of testicular cancer is key to successful treatment.

Tips for healthy testes

Try the following to keep your scrotum in good health:

Do a monthly testicular self-exam

Roll each testicle around in your scrotum using your fingers. Check for lumps and swollen or tender areas

Bathe regularly

Take a shower or bath every day to keep your entire genital area clean. This reduces your risk of infections that can cause other complications. Keep your penis and scrotal area dry after bathing. Moisture trapped in the area can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing

Try to avoid wearing tight underwear and pants. Allow your scrotum to hang naturally from your body to help keep the scrotal temperature low and prevent injury.

Wear protection when you have sex

Wear a condom when doing any kind of sexual activity involving your penis. This helps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases that affect your scrotum and testicles.

How do you know if your testicles are OK?

The testicles should not have any lumps or bumps, and they should feel firm but not hard. At the back of each testicle, you might feel a soft tube. This is called the epididymis. If your testicles change or if you notice anything strange, you should see a doctor.

Can you touch your testicles?

With your free hand, glide your thumb and fingers along both sides of the testicle, from top to bottom. Feel for any lumps or bumps. Then, glide your fingers over the front and back of the testicle. On the back, at the top, you should feel the epididymis, a tube that carries sperm.

How much sperm can a man hold?

A fertile man may produce between 40 million and 1800 million sperm cells in total, though the majority produce between 40 to 60 million sperm cells per milliliter, giving an average total of 80 million to 300 million sperm per ejaculation.

Do testicles get bigger when full of sperm?

We found no significant relationship between testis mass and either sperm number or nuptial gift mass.

How much sperm is produced in 24 hours?

During spermatogenesis, your testicles make several million sperm per day — about 1,500 per second. By the end of a full sperm production cycle, you can regenerate up to 8 billion sperm.

What is the size of a male testicle?

The average size of a man’s testicles is about 4 x 3 x 2 centimetres (cm) in size and is oval-shaped. Most men have two testicles, also known as testes. It’s common for one of a man’s testicles to be a different size from the other. Testicles reside in the scrotum, attached at each end to the spermatic cord.

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