The human body is not naturally perfect: some limbs or body parts may be slightly asymmetrical, and private parts are no exception. The testicles, like the breasts, can differ in size and/or weight. Doctors tell you how to make sure your testicles are healthy.
Is it normal to have one testicle different from the other?
In adulthood, a testicle is on average 3 to 4 centimeters high, 2 to 2.5 centimeters wide, and weighs about 18 grams. Its size can vary slightly during the day: indeed, under the effect of certain phenomena, such as stress, sexual intercourse, or temperature variations, the testicles can move and change in volume. Finally, know that their shape and size have no influence on male fertility.
What are the reasons why one testicle may be lower than the other?
Depending on their size and Earth’s gravity, it is normal for one of the two testicles to be lower than the other: the left testicle is often located a little lower than the right testicle. In addition, in order to function properly, the testicles need an average temperature of 34 to 35°C, which is 2 to 3 degrees lower than normal body temperature, which is around 37°C. This is what allows them to ensure their homeostasis, that is to say, the ability to maintain a uniform temperature, an essential factor in the production of sperm and male sex hormones, including testosterone.
What are the reasons why one testicle may be larger than the other?
It is quite common for one testicle to be a little larger than the other. On the other hand, an increase in the size of a testicle, whether sudden or gradual, can also be linked to an underlying health problem. Here are the main causes of swelling of one or more testicles:
- the cyst: generally benign, it must be monitored regularly;
- epididymitis: this is an inflammation of the epididymis, the canal located at the top of the testicles which provides the space and the environment necessary for the maturation of sperm;
- orchitis: an infection of the testicles, most often caused by a virus, such as mumps, and causing swelling;
- hydrocele: it is an accumulation of fluid in the pocket surrounding the testicle. It can increase the volume of a bursa but is fortunately benign and does not risk becoming infected or progressing to a serious illness;
- testicular torsion: this occurs when the spermatic cord twists, which causes the blood supply to the testicle to stop. Testicular torsion is an emergency and requires rapid treatment;
- testicular cancer: this is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35. Although it has a very good recovery rate, it is important to detect it as soon as possible to treat it in the best conditions.
In case of swelling or even simple pain in this organ, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Depending on the symptoms, the health professional can make a diagnosis.
How to check the health of your testicles?
It’s important to check your testicles regularly and know what’s normal for you so you can identify any changes. The testicles should be smooth, without bumps or lumps, and firm without being hard.
The best time to check your testicles is during or after a warm shower or bath when your scrotum is relaxed.
Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand and use your fingers and thumb to examine each testicle.
- lumps or swellings;
- any unusual signs;
- differences between your testicles (it’s normal for them to be different, just look for new changes).
If you notice any of these signs, consult your doctor quickly to rule out any risk of serious illness, such as testicular cancer.
Common signs of testicular cancer include:
- a lump on the testicles;
- a change in the size or shape of the testicles;
- a feeling of heaviness in the testicles.
When should you consult?
Persistent pain, a significant difference in size between the testicles, a growth, the feeling of heavy testicles, or the presence of liquid in the grants: all these signals should alert you to the state of health of your testicles. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment quickly with your doctor or by teleconsultation with a doctor: they will be able to establish a diagnosis and refer you to a specialist if necessary.