This post is all about testicles, their health, and the average testicle size of men around the world.
Throughout the article, you’ll read about what’s normal and abnormal when it comes to your family jewels.
You will also be able to tell if your balls are in good health or if it’s time to visit your doctor to ‘drop-trou.’
Testicles (AKA balls, jewels, testes, and more..) can be found in a sac that’s hanging around behind the penis. Healthy testicles are oval-shaped organs and come in a set of two for most men.
It’s your testicles’ job to produce testosterone (the male sex hormone) as well as make and store your sperm.
Does Size Matter?
Your testicle measurements are often associated with your manliness and masculinity.
So, everyone wants to have bigger balls.
Men also want to feel better about themselves and compare their own testicle size with that of the average testicle size.
The scientific answer to the question, ‘Does size matter:’
Everything You Need To Know About Testicle Growth:
The average testicle size at birth is one cubic centimetre which doesn’t usually change until he’s about eight years old.
At this time, the testes grow steadily until they reach their adult size during puberty which is also when pubic hair makes its appearance.
One thing to note is that while both testicles usually grow at the same rate, one may end up growing slightly bigger than the other. It’s also common for one ball to hang slightly lower than the other.
Testicles Can Shrink In Size:
There are three common causes of your testicle shrinking in size:
Testicular atrophy is when your testicles start shrinking as you get older. This decline in testicle size also causes a drop in testosterone production and its associated symptoms experienced by men in their 50s and older (3).
Most noticeable effects of testicular atrophy are the decline in sex drive and reduced muscle mass. It’s also why men use testosterone boosters and sexual performance boosters to counter the effects of the decline in testosterone.
Your testicles are a finely-engineered machine that works optimally at a range of temperatures. That said, the testes don’t really shrink in size but instead retract closer to the body.
The mechanism that is responsible for this is called Cremasteric retraction and occurs when the testicles are exposed to cold water or temperature (4, 5). The opposite also happens when it’s hot outside where you end up with sagging balls.
Ending up with some Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can mean a lot more than an uncomfortable conversation with your current (and previous) sexual partners. In fact, some STIs can end up causing your testicles to shrink (6).
STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis, mumps, tuberculosis, and a few other viral infections can end up causing the shrinkage. Additionally, blunt trauma to the testicles like being kicked in the nuts can result in your balls shrinking (7).
The Factors That Cause You To Have Small Testicles:
There are three causes of having smaller than average testicle size:
Hypogonadism is when the body can’t produce sufficient testosterone and inhibits standard development of male characteristics, including testicle growth. A testicular disorder can prevent the testicles to not respond to the brain’s signal to make more testosterone and sperm.
This is considered to be primary hypogonadism and may be inborn as well as caused by testicular torsion, infection, or anabolic steroid abuse (8). Secondary hypogonadism is caused when the pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough luteinizing hormone that’s supposed to signal the testicles to produce testosterone.
The scrotum contains a bundle of veins and nerves that work to provide the necessary blood flow to the testicles. These veins maintain temperature and provide nutrients to produce testosterone and sperm.
Varicocele is a condition when the veins get enlarged due to issues with the blood flow to the testes. This condition can result in your testicles to soften and shrink (9).
If one or both of the testicles fail to descend out from the abdomen before birth, they are called undescended testes (cryptorchidism) (10).
The condition usually resolves by itself within the first few months but may require surgery in some cases. Concerning average testicle size, it is found that those with undescended testicles may have smaller balls (11).
Effects Of Testicle Size On Your Health:
Your family jewels are a very important part of what makes you a man. This is also why any problems in testicle size and health can affect your overall health and wellbeing.
Some of the effects of having smaller balls are positive, while most others are negative.
Here are the scientifically proven effects of testicle size on your health and wellbeing:
Linking Testicle Size With Testosterone And Male Fertility:
Testicle size, capacity, and health are directly linked with testosterone production and sperm production for all men.
In fact, a study published in 2014 proved that smaller testicle size is directly linked to reduced sperm density and production (12). Studies have also found that testosterone production is weaker in men with smaller balls (Hypogonadism) (13).
Smaller Testicles Linked To Better Heart Health:
The only time smaller testicles may be considered a positive is when we are talking about heart health.
According to one study, men with larger testicles have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (14). That said, this research direction is still young with several conflicting results. So, it’s better to wait for more concrete evidence before expecting a healthy heart due to the smaller jewels you carry in between your legs.
Bigger Nuts Give You Better Sleep:
If you are finding it difficult to sleep, it may be because your kahunas aren’t as big a deal as you thought. And no, I’m not trying to take a dig at you.
Studies have found that men with low sperm counts experienced poor sleep (15). They also found that those with sleep issues often lived unhealthily like by eating a lot of fast-foods and smoking. So, the low sperm count may not be the only reason for the poor sleep quality experienced.
Your Ball-Size Is Linked To Your Paternal Instincts:
New research on the evolution of primates has found a link between testicle size and paternal instincts (16).
According to the study, primates with bigger testicles that create more sperm (like Male Chimpanzees) are focused more on mating instead of protecting their young. Similarly, primates with smaller testicles (like Male Gorillas) are more protective of their young.
In addition, this may also apply to human males as well since testicles work the same way for all primates. But there is little information that can clearly evaluate if this phenomenon applies to men.
Measuring Your Testicle Size:
If you are here to find out the average testicle size for adults around the world, you should first understand how they are measured.
Since testicles aren’t oval-shaped instead of a perfect sphere, it can be difficult to get an accurate measure of their length, width and height.
So, Swiss pediatric endocrinologist, Andrea Prader, introduced the Orchidometer in 1966. Other names for this tool include Prader’s balls, the endocrine rosary, or the medical worry balls.
This simple yet effective tool uses a string of twelve numbered wooden/plastic beads. The beads are shaped like a testicle (oval-shaped) and range from 1 ml to 25 ml.
The doctor will use one hand to feel your nut and find the comparative size on the beads. This is also easy to use at home.
Average Testicle Size:
|Testicle Dimension:||Average Testicle Size (17):|
|Length||4.5-5.1 cm / 1.77-2.00 inch|
|Width||2 cm / 0.8 in|
|Height||3 cm / 1.2 in|
Also, you may want to know that our testicles weight only 0.35-0.5 ounces per testis. That’s just 10-15 grams for those who are not from the US (18).
I also found an interesting Instagram post by Monachalabi where she gives you a to-scale average testicle sized image you can compare with your own testicles. Just note that the image is to-scale on the iPhone 6S and may get resized on other phones.
What Should You Do If You Have Small Testicles?
But what does it mean for your health if you find that you have small testicles?
Well, first, you need to talk to your doctor on if your testicle size has had any effects on your health. After all, the range for testicle size is quite wide and having small balls doesn’t mean the end of the world.
However, Infertility and Varicocele are problems that need to be dealt with and not ignored. So, here are the medical treatments for these problems for someone with small testicles:
Treatments For Infertility:
Hypogonadism (low testosterone levels) is a problem that can lead to infertility for some men (21).
TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) is also an option to help boost sex drive, energy, and muscle mass (24). However, there are several side effects of this treatment and requires a lot of doctor’s supervision.
Treatments For Varicocele:
Varicocele is a condition that may resolve by itself for some men. But you should get a doctor’s opinion before you ignore it. If it can’t be resolved by itself, you may have to consider surgery.
Surgery to seal off the affected vein and rerouting the blood flow to the healthy veins can help treat Varicocele (25). This can help counter the atrophy of the testicle and help it regain its original size.
How To Treat Undescended Testes?
Orchiopexy is a surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to move the testicles down into the scrotum. This surgery is usually done in the first year of the baby’s birth.
Teenagers and adult men can also have surgery done. In fact, studies have shown a boost in male fertility after the surgery for some men (26). That said, this treatment is usually suggested for adults who have testicular torsion, which is cutting off blood supply to their testicles.
Male Enhancement Supplements Increase Testicle Size:
While some supplements may claim to help you increase testicle size, there is no clinical support for this claim. There are also pills and devices that claim to increase penis size.
However, the reason male enhancement pills/supplements are popular is that they do work to improve sexual performance and health. In fact, the top male enhancement supplements are capable of improving sperm volume (and health), libido, erection size, and sexual stamina.
Taking Care Of Your Family Jewels:
Your testicles are usually very low-maintenance and don’t usually grab your attention all the time. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore what’s happening with them.
This is why it’s recommended that you perform a testicular self-exam (TSE) every month.
The self-examination involves gently rolling your testicles in your figures to feel for their shape, size, and hardness. They should be oval-shaped and firm with a bundle of tubes along the bottom of the scrotum.
It’s also common for one of your balls to be bigger than the other, usually the right one. The left testicle is also known to hang a little lower than the right one (27).
That said, the Self-Exam is best done after your shower when the boys are hanging loose when you’re in your bathrobe. In addition, doing the exam in from of the mirror may also help.
What’s The Risk Of Testicular Cancer?
If you notice any of the previously-mentioned protrusions, lumps, bumps, or a change in size, you should contact your doctor for an appointment. A doctor may also be needed if your testicles are feeling tender or painful for no apparent reason.
Also, while I don’t mean to cause you to panic, do note that if you have any of these problems, you should get an appointment pretty soon.
The reason for this is that while it may just be nothing to worry about, it may also be that you have an infection or even testicular cancer.
According to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation, this cancer is the most common cancer in men between 15 and 44 years of age (28).
The chance of developing testicular cancer for men is 1 out of 270.
Additionally, the five-year survival rate for testicular cancer that’s detected early is also found to be more than 95% (29).
BONUS: Average Testicle Temperature
Testicle temperature can also play a big part in your sperm health (30). So, checking your testicle temperature is important if you want a perfectly-working set of balls.
Remember that there is an average difference of two degrees in temperature between your body and your testicles. So, to find the temperature of your testicles, check your body temperature and subtract 2 from it.
You can also just attach the thermometer to your balls for a minute to get an accurate reading too.
In the end, the average testicle temperature for the average male is 35 C / 99 F.
Should I Be Concerned About My Testicle Size?
Judging your testicle health from just its size is not a good way to go about it.
As for the size of your balls, so long as they aren’t too small or too big, you shouldn’t be overly worried.
The range that’s considered normal is between 15 ml and 35 ml (31).
However, you should talk to your doctor if:
- You are struggling with getting your partner pregnant
- Have low libido
- Are growing breast tissue
- Notice a bump or lump that wasn’t there before
In fact, I even found a Reddit page that asked women about their preference when it came to ball size (32). According to the tens of comments on it, women don’t care about the size of your testicles.
So, if that’s what was worrying you the most about your testicle size, get it out of your mind.