I am a twenty-three-year-old male who has a question about my scrotum. My scrotum seems to be tight up against my body, only sometimes does it drop a little lower. I thought that maybe my scrotum was just late in growing properly. Now I am not so sure. What should I do?
Dear Scrotum Sense,
Human variety, it is part of what makes us unique and also what makes us question if we are "normal." In the case of the scrotum, there is a muscle that is affected by temperature. When warm, the muscle relaxes, making the scrotum and the testicles hang lower. Cold makes the muscle contract and pull the scrotum closer to the body. It is normal for the scrotum to go through these changes many times in any given day. Depending on where you live, the natural temperature of your body, the ambient temperatures in your environment, and a host of other factors, you may experience the scrotum at higher or lower points. Have you noticed that the scrotum tends to be looser after a hot shower? Or higher and tighter after swimming in cooler water? This is all part of the way a male body works to keep the testicles at the optimum temperature for producing sperm.
In your question, you mentioned your scrotum, not your testicles. There is another condition, however, in which one or both of the testicles have not descended from the body cavity into the scrotum. To see if this is a concern, try to feel your two testicles inside of your scrotum. They may feel like almonds in the shell (hence the nickname "nuts"). You can also feel for a cord, the vas deferens, which is attached to each of the testicles. If you cannot feel one or both of your testicles, or have trouble identifying them, you may want to consider making an appointment with your health care provider. Most men with an undescended testicle will have been diagnosed around the time they went through puberty, but not always. It's quite normal and acceptable to ask your health care provider if you are unsure.
No need to get nutty over this issue. The likely answer is that you are a unique guy and there is nothing wrong with your scrotum. By the way, you should be given kudos for getting in touch with yourself. Exploring and understanding your body is a great step toward maintaining a healthy life.
Originally published Jan 17, 1997
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