Testicle & Scrotum Size

Disorders affecting the size of the testicles and scrotum are actually quite rare. 

 

 

TESTICULAR SIZE

The normal size of the adult testicle ranges from the size of a large grape to the size of an unshelled pecan – from about 1¼ inches (3cm) to 2 inches (5cm) in height and ¾ inch (2cm) to 1¼ inches (3cm) in width. This can vary from individual to individual, and some men may notice that one testicle is slightly larger than their other testicle. 

Testicular size adult.jpg

Because the testicles triple in size during childhood and increase again during puberty six to eight times as large as they were in childhood, we will only discuss testicular size here in adult men.

Some men may feel they are outside the normal range by simply looking at these ovals.  It’s worth noting that the sizes shown above include the skin that covers the scrotum.  So, the actual internal size of the adult testicle can be closer to 13-16ml. 

The scrotum can change in “size” depending on the temperature – become more relaxed and “larger” to allow the testicles to hang away from the body when it’s warm, or it can contract and become “smaller” to pull the testicles closer to the warm body when it is cold.  However, there are disorders that can affect the size of the scrotum as well.

Underdeveloped Testicles and Scrotum

Some boys are born with testicles and a scrotum that are underdeveloped.  This condition is called hypoplasia of the testes and scrotum.  In these boys, not only are the testicles smaller than normal, but the scrotum itself can be significantly smaller than normal and underdeveloped.  This is most often identified at birth.

Small Testicles

Men with smaller testicles often produce testosterone and sperm normally.  However, if testicles are significantly smaller than normal, another disorder like Kleinfelter’s syndrome may be the cause.  It can be good to ask your healthcare provider about this during a physical exam.

 

If a man feels his testicles are significantly smaller than average (smaller than 12ml, seen at right) and he has low muscle mass or little body hair growth, it may be a good idea to have testosterone levels checked to ensure the testicles are producing enough testosterone.  Smaller testicles can also be associated with lower sperm counts, but many of these men make sufficient sperm to father children.  In fact, studies have shown that men with smaller testicles are more nurturing fathers.  So, being smaller than average isn’t always a bad thing.[i]

12ml Testicle.jpg

Large Testicles (Macroorchidism)

The testicles and scrotum can become swollen or painful for a number of reasons.  Other causes of testicular and or scrotal swelling can be due to infections, excess fluid, or hernias surfacing in the scrotum. To learn more about these issues , click HERE

A condition called “macroorchidism” is defined as testicles that are more than twice the normal size for a male’s age.  In adult men, this can involve testicles about the size of a chicken egg (at least in height but sometimes in width as well).  This is uncommon and typically occurs in males born with a condition called Fragile X Syndrome.  Macroorchidism is often discovered in children that have testicles that are closer to puberty sizes rather than childhood sizes.  Macroorchidism can also be caused by other chronic hormone disorders elsewhere in the body such untreated low thyroid, high FSH from the pituitary due to a tumor, adrenal hyperplasia, and aromatase deficiency.   Cancers such as lymphomas or testicular cancer can cause the testicles to become abnormally large.[i]

SCROTAL SIZE

Although the scrotum can relax and contract and “change size”, men vary in how much scrotal skin they have.  Some men may have a fairly tight scrotum while other men may have a looser scrotum so “normal” varies from “small and tight” to “long and loose”.    

 

Excessive Scrotal Skin

 

Excessive scrotal skin is often defined as scrotal skin that hangs well below the position of the testicles (if the testicles are located at the bottom of the scrotum, the skin is usually not excessive even if it is hanging fairly loose). 

For men that have excessive skin hanging below the testicles there, are treatment options.  The most common suggestion is wearing supportive underwear that can keep scrotal skin contained and using powder to prevent chaffing.  However, for men that feel significant discomfort from the extra skin, surgery can be performed to remove the excess scrotal skin hanging below the testicles.  This procedure is often referred to as a “scrotal lift”. 

[i] https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/average-testicle-size (12/14/18)

[ii] https://endocrinecases.wordpress.com/tag/macroorchidism/ (3/21/17)

Images on this page from top to bottom include:

  1. Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock.com &Pykodelbi/Shutterstock.com

  2. Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock.com &Pykodelbi/Shutterstock.com