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Urinary Disorders

Testicle/Hernia

06/08/2009

Question:

Hello. Can a hernia cause one of your testicles to be greatly smaller then the other? Will the smaller one ever grow too the same size as the larger one? Thank you for your time and hope too hear from you soon.

Answer:

In general, hernias do not cause testes to be smaller on the side of the hernia. Most common reasons for testes decrease in size include varicocele (dilated veins surrounding the cord structures of the testes) or undescended testes (testes never reached the scrotum during development). Repair of hernia rarely causes injury to the blood suppply to the testes which can result in subsequent decrease in size of the testes. Another cause of decrease in testes size is mumps orchitis (mumps virus affecting the testes- very uncommon at this time). Decrease in both testes is typically an endocrine problem which can be assessed with relatively simple blood tests.

Hopefully this helps. You should see urologist to determine which of these mechanisms is the cause. Treating varix can result in recovery of testes function; the other causes that I mentioned are, in general, irreversible.

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Response by:

James F Donovan, Jr, MD James F Donovan, Jr, MD
Professor of Surgery
Director of UC Urology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati