Testicles are oval-shaped reproductive organs that hang behind some people’s penis or strapless. They’re sometimes called balls or testes. They produce sperm and testosterone. They’re usually very sensitive. Some people like the way it feels when they touch or pull them. But, some people might not like touching them at all.
Everyone’s testicles are different! They can be different shapes and sizes. You can regularly look and feel your testicles so you know if something changes. If you get lumps or bumps you can talk to a doctor.
How do the testicles work?
Testicles have a bunch of small tubes inside of them that make sperm. Sperm are cells that can get someone with a uterus pregnant. They’re stored in a tube called the epididymus. When someone ejaculates, they move through the testicles to another tubes called the vans deferens, then the urethra, and finally out to the tip of the penis.
Testicles also produce a hormone called testosterone. This hormone helps some people make sperm, grow hair on their face and body, helps their penis or strapless grow, and lowers their voice.
Are my testicles normal?
Everyone’s testicles will look and feel different! Usually, someone’s testicles will start to grow when they’re 8-13 years old. When they grow, they can get darker and grow hair. The average size for testicles is 2-3 inches in length and 1 inch in width. But, it’s really common to have one testicle that’s bigger than the other or hangs lower than the other.
Testicles need to stay cooler than the temperature in the rest of your body. That’s why they’re outside of your body. That’s also why they might ride up when you’re cold and drop down when you’re hot.
Some people are also born with an undescended testicle. That means it’s in a different position than it should be. Usually, this problem fixes itself with time. But, if it doesn’t a surgeon can fix it so it doesn’t cause any health problems.
If you ever notice a sudden change in your testicles or pain that doesn’t go away you can talk to a doctor.
What can cause testicle pain?
Testicles are really sensitive. So, even small injuries can hurt for days. The pain can come from lots of things like injuries or even stomach problems! Testicular pain isn’t always something to worry about, but sometimes it can help to talk to a doctor.
If your testicles are swollen and it won’t go away, you can talk a doctor. If you have pain that is severe and comes with swelling, it could be testicular torsion. That’s when a testicle twists around and blood flow gets cut off. This is a very serious medical condition and you can go to the ER right away.
Anytime you have really bad pain that comes suddenly you can go to the ER. It can be a sign or a serious problem. If you have pain that’s dull, but isn’t going away you can go to a CLSC or your doctor.
How do I examine my testicles?
One way to keep your testicles healthy is to do regular self-exams. That means checking them for lumps or bumps. They can be an early sign of testicular cancer. It’s also a good way to get to know what your body feels like. Doctors recommend you do one every month so you know how your testicles feel.
- Do it after a shower or bath, your skin is most relaxed
- Examine one at a time
- Gently pinch the top of your testicles between your thumb and finger. You might feel a little tube.
- With your other hand glide your thumb and fingers along the testicle from top to bottom, along the front, and both sides.
- Repeat for the other side!
At the top, behind your testicle, you’ll feel a bump. This is the epididymis and will probably be a bit tender. This isn’t a bump to worry about!
If you feel any unusual, hard lumps or swelling and changes in colour you can talk to a doctor who will make sure everything is okay. Lumps might come from different things. If you have one it doesn’t mean you have cancer. But, you can get it checked to be sure!