The two testes (testicles) produce the sperm and the male sex hormone testosterone. Read more about the testicles!


The two testicle (Testes or testicles) are the male gonads. They each hang freely on the spermatic cord in the scrotum (scrotum). In the testes, sperm and testosterone, the male sex hormone, are produced by the man for life. Read all about the testes: anatomy, function and important diseases!

What are the testicles?

The paired testicles (testicles) are a part of the internal male reproductive organs and the production of spermatozoa (sperm). They have an elongated shape and an average diameter of three centimeters. They are flattened laterally, about four inches long and weighing 25 to 30 grams. At the upper end of each testicle is the head of the epididymis, at the back of the epididymis.

The testes size varies from man to man and is also lowest in puberty. In adult life, the testis increases in size, reaches a maximum at the age of about 40 years and then shrinks again from the 50th Age something. Testis size is unrelated to body weight.

Testicles: construction

The testicles are divided in their interior by many connective tissue beams and partitions in 250 to 300 small lobules. These lobules (Lobuli testis) harbor strongly tortuous, fine tubes, the seminiferous tubules, which lead into a reticular canalicular system (Rete testis).

The seminiferous tubules are surrounded by loose connective tissue, in which the so-called intermediate cells (Leydig cells) lie.

What function do the testicles have?

The seminiferous tubules in the testicles are lined with the seminal epithelium, in whose cells the semen (sperm) are formed from precursors in several steps. These then pass through the Rete testis and other channels into the epididymis, where they are stored.

In addition, the testes produce the male sex hormone testosterone, in the Leydig cells. Testosterone is responsible for the training of the secondary sexual characteristics of the man such as the deep voice, the beard, the hair on the head, the armpits and in the pubic area. Muscle distribution and bone structure are also affected by testosterone.

Where are the testicles?

The testicles are in the scrotum - a skin between the legs, the penis and the perineal region. Thus, the testicles are paged out of the body cavity, which is important for the temperature-sensitive sperm: In the scrotum, the temperature is about two to two and a half degrees below the abdominal cavity (ideally, it is constantly 34 to 35 degrees Celsius).

What problems can the testicles cause?

In the course of embryonic development, the testicles develop in the abdominal cavity of the unborn child and then migrate into the scrotum before delivery through the inguinal canal. If this descent of the testicles fails, there is an undescended testicle (Maldescensus testis, abdominal testes, inguinal testicles).

Inflammation of the testicle (orchitis) is usually caused by viruses and bacteria. As a rule, the epididymis is also inflamed at the same time (epididymitis). The combined disease is called epididymoorchitis.

A varicose vein on the testicles is called varicocele or varicose vein fracture. If left untreated, it can lead to infertility. The hydrocele (water breakage) also belongs to the testicular diseases. This liquid accumulates in the scrotum.

Testicular torsion is when the testis in the scrotum on the spermatic cord twists about its longitudinal axis. This is extremely painful and must be treated immediately (within six hours) to prevent the testicular tissue from dying as a result of a lack of blood supply.

testicleCarcinoma (testicular cancer) occurs mainly in men under 40 years. It can be treated well.

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