Testicular Atrophy

Definition - What does Testicular Atrophy mean?

Testicular atrophy is a decrease in size or shrinking, of the testicles. It can result in diminished sperm function and infertility. This does not refer to temporary decrease in size, like acute exposure to cold temperatures.

FertilitySmarts explains Testicular Atrophy

Testicles are made up of two types of cells: germ cells, and Leydig cells. Germ cells are responsible for producing sperm, whereas Leydig cells produce testosterone. Normally, a man's body makes equal amounts of both types of cells. However in testicular atrophy, there is a reduction in one or both of these cell types.

There are many potential causes of testicular atrophy, including abnormalities in a man's genes, testicular torsion or trauma, liver disease, hormonal deficiency, chronic steroid use, mumps, sexually transmitted infections, alcoholism, and advanced age. Testicular atrophy does not refer to temporary changes in testicle size, such as that caused by cold temperatures.

Some potential symptoms of testicular atrophy are painful testicles, infertility, sexual dysfunction, or decreased sex drive.

The treatment for testicular atrophy is dependent on its cause. In some cases, hormonal therapy or surgical intervention may be required.

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