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Testicles (Testis, Testes) are the male sex organs. They are subject to a number of conditions, including cancer and torsion.

The testes form within the body (like their equivalent, the ovaries) but descend into the scrotum by the time of birth.


One or both may fail to make this transition, which is a condition of being "undescended". The incidence reaches 10% in premature babies.

The process may complete itself within a few months, otherwise manipulation or surgery may be required.

If the testis does not reach the scrotum, infertility results.

The testes are extremely sensitive and even a mild blow can be debilitating, if not injurious. A severe blow can tear the wall of the testis and repair may require surgery.

The testis can also become inflamed and painful: "orchitis". This usually occurs in adult cases of mumps.

Another reason for pain in the testis, or the epididymis, is torsion i.e. the spermatic cord becomes twisted and tangled. This can happen with tight underwear, or activities, like bicycling. Immediate surgery may be required in order to save the fertility of the organ.

Cancer of the testis has been quite rare but the incidence appears to be increasing; so much so that testicular self-examination is being promoted in much the same way as breast self-examination, as a preventive measure for men's health, or women's health, respectively.

Signs & Symptoms

In most conditions, any deviation from the normal requires medical examination: the norm, of course, is an identical pair of testes, lying within the scrotum, without the presence of any pain or inflammation.

A swollen testis may, or may not, be painful so self-examination and medical check-ups may be the only indication that anything is wrong. Another overt sign may be blood in the urine.

Testicular cancer usually consists of a firm, painless swelling in one testis. Orchidectomy is usually required. This operation enjoys a high success rate. If the condition has metastasized, chemotherapy and radiation treatments may also be required. Fertility is maintained with just one healthy testis.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Men's Health

General Supplements

Amino Acid Complex (L-form)*
Beta Carotene15,00 IU
Selenium400 mcg
Vitamin A15,000 IU
Vitamin B Complex50 mg
Vitamin C6,000 mg
Vitamin E400 IU
Zinc80 mg

*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Foods rich in zinc are commonly recommended, including: egg yolks (which may be restricted for other reasons), liver, oysters, or sardines. For vegetarians, soybeans and whole grains are also rich sources (given good soil).

In the Western United States, for those who eat organ meats, "Prairie Oysters" are considered an efficacious delicacy!

Pumpkin or sunflower seeds make an ideal snack food.

Herbal Approaches


Saw Palmetto

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Homeopathic Remedy

ImpotenceTestis bovis
Sexual weaknessAgnus castus

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.


Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Tissue Salts

Nat. Mur.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Recommendations for essential oils relative to testicular problems are quite well-defined:

Hydrocele:Fennel Essence, Hyssop Essence, Juniper Essence, Lemon Essence.
Orchitis:Chamomile Essence, Cypress Essence, Lavender Essence, Palm Rosa Essence.
Swollen scrotum:Cypress Essence, Hyssop Essence, Juniper Essence, Lavender Essence.
Varicocele:Chamomile Essence, Cypress Essence, Geranium Essence.

Related Health Conditions




Bourre, JM: Function of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids in the nervous system. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1993 Jan;48(1):5-15

Naessens G et al: Hypogonadism as a cause of recurrent muscle injury in a high level soccer player. A case report. Int J Sports Med, 1995 Aug, 16:6, 413-7.

Remer T et al., Re-examination of the effect of hCG on plasma levels and renal excretion of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in healthy males. Steroids, 60(2):204-9 1995 Feb.

Samm, BJ: Urologic emergencies. Trauma injuries and conditions affecting the penis, scrotum, and testicles. Postgrad Med 1996 Oct;100(4):187-90, 193-4, 199-200.

USDHHS: What you need to know about testicular cancer. United States Department of Health and Human Services Publications National Institute of Health. 1992 Nov #NIH 93-1565 rev ed: (26 p).

Villalta J et al., Testicular function in asymptomatic chronic alcoholics: relation to ethanol intake. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 21(1):128-33 1997 Feb.


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