Frequently Asked Questions
How will my fertility be affected after losing a testicle?
Only one working testicle is needed for normal fertility and male features. A single testicle can make normal amounts of sperm and testosterone. But studies show that up to one third of patients have a lower sperm count after a torsion. Testicular torsion can also result in anti-sperm antibodies, which may change how the sperm work and move. Some studies suggest that these men could have lower fertility, but this is rare.
How will losing a testicle or having a weakened testicle affect my lifestyle?
If you've lost a testicle or have a weakened testicle, you should be careful with the one that's left. Always wear protection when playing contact sports. Seek medical care if you have any discomfort or notice anything abnormal in the scrotum or remaining testicle. You may also have a decrease in the amount of testosterone in your blood at an early age. It's a good idea to have your testosterone levels checked regularly as you get older.
Should I consider a testicular prosthesis?
A testicular prosthesis is used to restore the look and feel of a testicle that has been removed. One type is made of silicone and filled with salt water. Most often, the prosthesis is placed when a man is fully grown and through puberty. If a smaller prosthesis is used in a young boy, an adult size would be needed later. This means more surgery. Surgery for a prosthetic testicle is often done months after the testicle is removed. The decision for a prosthesis is personal, and should be discussed with your urologist.
Can a newborn have testicular torsion?
Yes, though this is very rare. Its exact cause is unknown. It may be from a drawn-out or difficult labor, or happened before birth. The spermatic cord twist is also different in infants. Testicular torsion in newborns most often appears as a hard scrotal mass, with some darkening of the skin. Unlike older patients, infants are not upset with pain. Unfortunately, most of these testes canot be saved.
What other torsions can occur?
Torsion of the "appendix of the epididymis" or "appendix of the testicle" can occur. In this kind of torsion, twists are found in a small, upper part of the epididymis or testicle, causing infarction (death of that tissue). These parts of the testicle are from the embryo stage, and have no use in men. This kind of torsion is more common in prepubescent boys than testicular torsion. It is rare in older boys or men.