Having one testicle larger than the other is more common than many people realize. This size difference usually occurs because the testicle on the right seems to grow faster than the one on the left.
This growth to the right is also seen for a fetus in the womb. It is the opposite for people with ovaries, with the ovaries developing first on the left.
Not only is it normal to have one testicle slightly larger than the other, but it's also common to have one that hangs a bit lower.
Mais il n'est pas toujours normal qu'un testicule soit plus gros que l'autre. But it's not always normal for one testicle to be bigger than the other. It is therefore important to know the differences in size and what may be a symptom of something more serious.
This article explains the anatomy of the testicles, unusual symptoms to look out for, and conditions that affect the testicles.
The anatomy of the testicles
Before talking about testicular diseases, it is useful to understand their structure and function:
The testicles (also called the genital glands) are small, oval-shaped glands. They produce sperm and sex hormones (testosterone). The scrotum is the pocket of skin and tissue that surrounds the testicles. The scrotum protects the testicles and allows them to position themselves outside the body, remaining cooler than body temperature. This lower temperature is ideal for the functioning of the testicles. The epididymis is a small, coiled tube located behind the testicles. It collects and stores the sperm produced by the testicles. The epididymis connects to the vas deferens, a larger tube that carries sperm out of the body during ejaculation.
Symptoms that may alert you
Often, testicles of different sizes are not an indication of a problem. However, the following may be signs of something more serious:
– Pain – Redness – Swelling – One testicle has a different shape from the other
If you notice that one testicle is larger than the other and you experience pain in either testicle, tell your GP immediately.
Being familiar with the usual shape, appearance, and feel of the testicles will help you notice when a change is occurring. Normal anatomy includes:
Shape : Each testicle resembles a firm, smooth egg. Size : Adult testicles are approximately 3cm high and 2cm wide.Symmetry : It is typical for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other and for one to hang slightly lower than the other. Pain : There is no pain or discomfort when examining the testicles.
Self-examination of the testicles
You should perform a testicular self-examination every month. To do a testicular self-examination, follow these steps:
1. Take a shower or bath to make sure the scrotum is relaxed and warm. 2. Stand in front of a mirror if that helps. 3. Use the fingers and thumbs of both hands to gently roll the testicle, checking for any lumps or painful areas. 4. Touch the underside and back of the scrotum to locate the epididymis (it should look like a bundle of tightly coiled tubes). 5. Repeat on the other testicle.
When should you see your doctor?
Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:
– Pain – lumps – Swelling – Change in size or shape since last exam
There are some common conditions involving lumps, pain, or swelling in the testicles. These are usually not life threatening, but they do require medical attention. They understand :
Cysts are an abnormal but harmless buildup of fluid. Blood clots occur as a result of trauma or injury. Hydroceles occur when the scrotum swells due to fluid buildup. A hydrocele can be present at birth or result from an injury. It often goes away on its own within six months. Varicose veins (called a varicocele) can be a cause of low sperm count and infertility. Orchitis is an inflammation of the testicle caused by an infection. Inguinal hernia occurs when part of your intestine pushes into the scrotum. Testicular torsion is twisting of the spermatic cord, the bundle of tubes, nerves, and blood vessels that attaches the testicle to the body. This condition causes excruciating pain.
Testicular torsion is a medical emergency. Getting medical treatment in the first hours can save the testicle.
These symptoms may seem scary or embarrassing, but don't let that stop you from seeing your doctor. It's essential to get checked out quickly so your symptoms don't get worse.
Performing monthly self-exams is an important part of early detection of testicular cancer. Symptoms of testicular cancer include: 9
– lumps – painless mass in the testicle – Pain (sometimes)
If you feel any change in size, shape, or appearance or notice pain in your testicles, see your doctor right away.
A scrotal ultrasound is a diagnostic test that can identify structural changes in the testicles. This can help your doctor identify abnormalities like varicoceles, cysts, and testicular cancer.
Having one testicle slightly larger than the other is completely normal. However, swelling, pain, redness and lumps are not. Doing monthly self-exams is a great way to monitor changes in your testicles that could indicate a problem. If you notice any changes, it's a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any issues.