Before we dive in, let’s talk about what balls actually do. A man’s testicles have two functions: to produce the important hormone testosterone and to make sperm – about 200 million a day!
But they can also tell you quite a bit about your health, and might even tell you what kind of father you are going to be!
The average testicle is oval-shaped and 4x3x2 centimetres. That means 4 cm long, 3 cm wide, and 2 cm deep. That’s far more complicated math than simply measuring a penis, isn’t it? But don’t get out the ruler just now – variations are absolutely normal, and your testicles measurements might be completely different. That’s totally okay and doesn’t say anything about their ability to produce sperm and testosterone.
Some men have only one ball. That’s called monorchism.
Balls grow at the same rate, but most of the time, one keeps growing a bit more and for slightly longer than the other one. That’s why it’s absolutely normal that one testicle is slightly bigger than the other, or that it has a different shape.
Also, it’s common that one ball hangs a bit lower than the other. It’s believed that the reason behind this is that balls will take up less space if they are asymmetrical.
If your testicles get bigger once you have reached adulthood or you notice any swelling around them, you should see a doctor, as this could be a sign of medical issues.
Shrinking testicles are normal though, as you get older.
Just as with penises, some men wonder whether they can make their testicles look bigger. Although size says little about function, it’s all about the looks. There are surgeries to make your balls bigger; do keep in mind, that, just as with penis enlargements, pills, ointments, and other potions are designed to make your wallet smaller, rather than your balls bigger.
Should you ever feel a bit self-conscious about the size of your balls, keep this in mind: men with slightly smaller testicles make better, more nurturing fathers, according to a 2013 study.
Most men are very familiar with this: when it’s cold outside, or when they get into cold water, their testicles seem to shrink. There’s even a scientific term for it: cremasteric reaction. The body does that to keep the balls warm, which keeps sperm production steady.
Ideally, the temperature of your balls should be a bit cooler than your body temperature – that’s why they hang away from the body.
Sometimes, having small testicles, or a testicle that hasn’t descended (when a testicle doesn’t drop from inside the body into its place in the scrotum) could be a sign of ‘hypogonadism’. That often happens with medical conditions such as Klinefelter syndrome (a genetic disorder) and can impact a man’s fertility, as less testosterone and sperm are produced. The condition is rare though, and there are other signs and symptoms beyond small testicles.