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How do your balls work?

As a guy, most of the time you take your balls for granted, other than being able to give them a good satisfying scratch come the end of the day, you don’t even think about them unless you suddenly get them caught in pants that are too tight or someone or something comes into violent physical contact with them. That’s when you instantly remember how sensitive they really are.

So just so you know, here’s some technical information on your balls. The average ball, or testis, to give it its technical term, is approximately 1.5 to 2 inches long, and weighs 10-15 grams.

Most guys have their left ball slightly larger and hanging slightly lower than the right, this is to aid walking around and sitting. As you can see, everything has been thought through. Your balls actually have an important job to do, which is to produce sperm and hormones such as testosterone.

Your balls form in the womb and should descend from the lower abdominal-pelvic cavity round about the 7th to 9th month of your development. If they don’t drop before you are born, you have a condition known as cryptorchidism, which is far more common in premature babies than full term babies. Usually, the balls will drop of their own accord within the first year of life. If they don’t, medical attention is required to correct the problem. They have to drop or you’ll be shooting blanks in adult life. You are also at much greater risk for developing testicular cancer later in life.

Each of your balls contain what’s known as testicular lobules, inside of which are 1 to 3 tightly coiled seminiferous tubules. If outstretched, each seminiferous tube would be 2 to 3 feet in length. These tubules are the centre for sperm production, which begins in puberty and continues throughout your life.

Of course, like everything else, as you get older the production rate slows down. The average adult male produces a few thousand sperm cells each second. The normal volume of semen that a male ejaculates is 3ml (milliliters) to 5ml. Each 1ml of semen normally contains 50 to 100 million sperm. But the sperm cells are so microscopic they actually account for only 5% of the overall volume of ejaculate.

Located between the spaces of these so called seminiferous tubules are the interstitial cells, or Leydig cells. Now this is the body’s testosterone factory. Without this steroid-based hormone you wouldn’t have a deep voice or facial hair and your sex drive would be non- existent. Testosterone production dramatically increases during puberty and continues to be produced by the Leydig cells throughout your life.

Those stories you’ve heard about tight underwear reducing your sperm count are actually true. A skeletal muscle known as the cremaster muscle functions to pull your balls closer to the body in cold environments, relaxing them when temperatures climb. That’s why your balls feel tight and compact when it’s freezing cold. Tight-fitting underwear exposes your balls to higher temperatures, and sperm production drops.

Be sure to check yourself for testicular cancer each month. Testicular cancer is relatively rare, but it is the most common form of cancer seen in men between the ages 16 and 35. If detected early, testicular cancer has a high cure rate. After a warm bath or shower, perform a testicular self-exam by gently rolling your balls between your thumb and fingers. If any lumps or thickening is felt, you should seek immediate medical attention.


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