The testicles are vital for reproduction and normal male hormones. Because they're in the scrotum, which hangs outside the body, they don't have muscles and bones to protect them like most organs have. This makes it easier for the testicles to be struck, hit, kicked, or crushed. Timely evaluation and proper treatment are critical for the best outcomes.
What Happens under Normal Conditions?
Male Reproductive System
The testicles are two male organs that make sperm and male hormones. They're in the scrotum, the skin sac that hangs below the penis. Each testicle is encased in a tough, fibrous cover (the tunica albuginea) that protects it.
Sperm cells are made in the testicle and travel to the epididymis, a rubbery gland along the back of the testicle. In the epididymis, thousands of sperm-making ducts from the testicle join to form a single coiled tube. Sperm stop briefly in the epididymis to mature before mixing with semen and leaving through a tube (the vas deferens) that joins with the urethra. The vas deferens is covered by a thick muscle wall. But the epididymis has a thin, fragile coating, and so is at higher risk for swelling or injury.
Testicular trauma is when a testicle is hurt by force. Trauma to the testicle or scrotum can harm any of its contents. When the testicle's tough cover is torn or shattered, blood leaks from the wound. This pool of blood stretches the scrotum until it's tense, and can lead to infection.