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The testicles, known colloquially as balls and medically as testes (singular testis), are the male generative glands. Male mammals have two testicles, which are often contained within an extension of the abdomen called the scrotum.

It is normal for one testis to hang lower than the other (usually the left). This is primarily due to differences in the vascular anatomical structure on the right and left sides. It is thought that this is another evolutionary development which protects each testis from hitting against the other.

Health issues

The testicles are well-known to be very sensitive to impact and injury. This has been a rich source of humour for jokes and comedic routines.

The most important diseases of testicles are:

  • inflammation of the testicles, called orchitis
  • testicular cancer and other neoplasms
  • accumulation of clear fluid around a testicle, called hydrocele testis
  • inflammation of the epididymis (the tube connecting the vas deferens to the testes), called epididymitis
  • spermatic cord torsion also called testicular torsion
  • varicocele

At least for humans, testicular prostheses are available to mimic the appearance and feel of one or both testicles, when absent as from injury or medical treatment.

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See also

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