The Giggleberries

   We can't have a blog about the penis without talking about the giggleberries! Or as us medical professions refer to them - the testicles, testes.
Many people wonder what the purpose of these drooping parts are. Well let me tell you...they are a whole fascinating ecosystem unto themselves!
    The testes are the manufacturing facilities for sperm, without them there would be no tiny humans running around. They are an extremely important part of fertility, reproduction and therefore population growth. All hail Team Testicle.
    Some babies are born with cryptorchidism or "undescended testicle" which simply means that one testicle has not moved out of the abdominal cavity to hang in the scrotum. (Another fun term is the scrotum, which is the sac of skin that the testes live in). Usually cryptorchidism will resolve on its own or require manipulation by the doctor.

A couple of interesting facts about the testes:
1. They will rise when cold, it is best to perform a self exam after just getting out of the shower, or whenever the testicles are warm and hanging low! They will retreat towards your warm body when the external temperature is cold.
2. They can be tender - play gently.
3. They can have issues of their own independent of the penis.  
4. The left testicle usually sits higher than the right. 

Issues:
Epididymitis - inflammation of the epididymis
Testicular Cancer - a tumor within the testes
Infertility - a problem with the sperm production
Hydrocele/Varicocele -a fluid filled sac in the scrotum (sometimes with water, sometimes blood)
Testicular torsion - a twisting of the spermatic cord that can lead to a removal of the testis. (This is considered an Emergency)

Self exams: It is important to get to know this area of the body in detail so that you can identify any changes right away. If possible, assess the skin health of the scrotum, looking for any lesions or tenderness. Then roll each testicle around between your fingers, they should feel like peeled grapes. If they are tender, hot, hard, lumpy or have a significant size difference, there may be an issue.

The testicles are a great source of inappropriate humor but in all seriousness, they play a pretty important role in society. So the next time you want to joke about yours, think twice and recognize how incredibly awesome they truly are!