Important parts of the male reproductive system, the testes (testicles) are oval shaped glands responsible for producing sperm and most of the male hormone testosterone.
The testes hang ‘outside’ in the scrotum because sperm production needs a cooler temperature than the inside of the body. Because the testes are outside the main body cavity they are more vulnerable to injury, but also it is easier for a man to discover lumps or bumps.
Men experiencing unexplained or ongoing pain, or noticing lumps or changes in their testes are advised to see a doctor immediately.
The most common problems of the testes include:
- testicular cancer
- undescended testes
- lumps in the scrotum (including hydroceles, varicoceles, and epididymal cysts)
- inflammation and infection (including epididymitis, orchitis, and mumps)
- torsion of the testis
See also information on testicular self-examination.