Let's talk about y'all's balls.
I CONSTANTLY wonder if my testicles are weird, and no way in hell am I alone.
I don't think any guy in the history of the world ever caught a glimpse of his nuts in the mirror after getting out of the shower and didn't spend the next few minutes examining his baby boys with the same scrutiny of a rabbi going over Talmudic text.
They're kind of like the Thomas' English Muffins of body parts. They're two halves, feel mushy yet firm and are covered in nooks and crannies. It's no wonder Thomas' treats are the most FASCINATING of breakfast items.
But is this individuality a good thing? How do you tell if your coin purse and Kennedy half dollars are just letting their freak flags aesthetically fly OR there is something actually wrong?
To put it bluntly, we're all wondering the same question:
Are my balls normal?
We got down and dirty and answered FAQs about your down 'n' dirties.
How do you know if they're too big or small?
Here's the good news: There is a 90 to 95 percent chance that how massive or minuscule your low hangers are has no real medical repercussions. The vast majority of guys can have children, show normal testosterone levels and maintain regular masculine development no matter the size of their berries.
The only time testicle size correlates with potential medical problems is when someone has a pre-existing condition or fertility issues. Smaller testicles can decrease fertility if you already have a difficult time conceiving. Dr. Shteynshlyuger says,
For most normal men the variation does not make a functional difference. They're doing what they need to do.
There is one other addendum to this, though. Dr. Shteynshlyuger points out,
Steroids shrink size. Steroids can also affect fertility and testosterone. I have a lot of patients who used supplements when they were younger, and now they have difficulty having children.
I'm looking at you, Sammy Sosa's tiny tots!
Is it weird if they're lopsided?
Most of the time, not at all! Testicles are like snowflakes: No two are exactly alike. According to Dr. Shteynshlyuger, your beans are actually most likely to be different sizes. If you notice a small variation in volume, it's nothing to be worried about. It's just kind of the way your body grows.
Dr. Shteynshlyuger explains,
Normally, the testes are different in size like feet. Small variation isn't a problem.
That being said, there are times when you should get them checked if they're uneven. He cautions,
Significant variation in size is a concern during adolescence. When it's a problem, it's usually obvious; when things are changing, that is a concern. If all of a sudden one is growing bigger, that could be a problem like hydrocele, hernia, inflammation from infection and trauma. When there is any big change, you should see a urologist.
Are blue balls a thing? Can you REALLY "get backed up" to a point where it's a medical problem?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: Not ejaculating can potentially lead to short-term fertility issues as older sperm die and clog up your baby shooter tube (this is what doctors call it, yes?).
Dr. Shteynshlyuger says,
There is no significant evidence that not ejaculating decreases the functionality of the testes.
He also says in order to rectify this situation, all you need to do is to empty out a few “bullets” from the “chamber” *hint hint* *wink wink*... masturbate.
Why do they hang when you have a fever?
Do your jewels hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
Cool. That's totally fine. Don't worry about it. Hardcore sagging during summer months or whenever you spike a fever is super normal. In fact, your scrotum tends to always be in a constant state of flux.
What you first need to understand is testicles are outside of the body for a reason. In order for sperm to develop properly, they need to be at a slightly cooler temperature, thus they drop from the abdomen in the mother's womb and sometimes even need to be surgically brought down (orchiopexy) if they don't drop to develop normally.
Because they hang “freer,” any change in tightening or loosening is directly related to the muscles around the testes and scrotum. Dr. Shteynshlyuger says,
When someone is stressed, the muscles that suspend the testes down to the scrotum contract, which makes it look like they shrink. When it's warm, the muscles and skin relax. Without pain, there is no reason to worry.
Can they REALLY get tangled?
Full disclosure: This question has HAUNTED me for years. I vaguely remember something about John Starks getting his balls tangled up during a playoff basketball game, which I REFUSE to Google because it physically hurts me to think about it.
I now know the real answer, though, and it's absolutely terrifying. Your balls can 100 percent get tangled up. It is a real thing that can really happen, and it's called testicular torsion, and I now hate everything.
Dr. Shteynshlyuger explains,
There is a separation between the two halves of your scrotum. What can happen sometimes is testicular torsion, one testicle twists around its axis. This can cause pain, but more significantly, it stops blood flow to the testicle. It's the heart attack of the testicle.
If this happens, you have to go to an emergency room immediately and have surgery done, or within four hours the testicle could atrophy, shrink and become non-functional.
Dr. Shteynshlyuger also explains there are rare situations where people are born with three testicles, and as fun as this sounds, this can lead to more frequent testicular torsion.
Side note: Having three testicles does not equal a higher fertility rate. This should settle about one quarter of the arguments you will ever have at 3 am in a frat house.
Are all lumps bad, or are there like “good” lumps? How do you tell the difference?
The main thing you need to look out for is if something is changing. If there is a lump on the inside or outside of testes that has evolved in some way, you may need to get a scrotal ultrasound. Most lumps on the outside, though, are known as epididymal cysts and aren't dangerous.
You mostly need to look out for what's going on inside your genitals. Testicular lumps should be checked out because they may be caused by cancer.
Why does it hurt in my stomach when I get ball-punched?
The question we're all wondering. How is it possible that if I take a firm boot to the grapes, it hurts down south for a bit and then feels like a scud missile was fired at my stomach for the next 10 minutes?
The reason is actually pretty logical. Before they descend during development/embryogenesis, the testes start near the kidney. Eventually, in the womb, they move from the kidney area down to the scrotum when development is happening.
Most of the time they drop down to the scrotum by the six-month mark, but the nerves to the testes still originate from the higher-up area. When you get hit, your brain can't easily differentiate between the areas, so both places end up feeling the sting.
Dr. Shteynshlyuger points out,
Similarly, when you have kidney stones you have pain in your testes because neurologically they come from the same area.
Long story short, most men develop normally after birth. If there is a change or pain, you should really see a doctor.
Also, testicular torsion is real and something I fear more than dying alone or a Donald Trump presidency.