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If you are fifteen years old and your testicles seem to move up and down like they are breathing, that's because you're turned on sexually. If you are fifteen years old and your testicles seem to move up and down like they are breathing all the time, that's because you are sexually turned on all the time. Sexual stimulation doesn't just cause erections. It also causes testicular movement. But testicular movement isn't just about sexual stimulation. Guys who have ever taken a dip in the pool without a suit on a cold day know what I'm talking about. Temperature makes a difference.

When a man goes skinny dipping in cold water, his testicles will tend to move up under his penis. That's caused by movement of the skin in which the testes, the "balls," are enclosed tightens and loosens to keep the testes at the optimum temperature for making sperm. Sperm production is greatest when the testes are at a temperature of about 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius). Since the rest of the body usually operates at about 98 degrees Fahrenheit (about 37 degrees Celsius), the testicles usually dangle down. When the scrotum is exposed to lower temperatures, it tightens up against the base of the penis. The tug of the scrotum against the penis also makes it look smaller.

The testicles also move in response to sexual arousal. Just before ejaculation, the testes, the sperm-producing balls in the testicles, move upward and touch the body to maximize the release of sperm into semen. In most men, the right testicle will go up to touch the base of the penis before the left testicle. The more the testicles move upward, the greater the orgasm with ejaculation.

The testicles also move in response to vasocongestion. This is a process similar to the erection. To make an erect penis, specialized valves let blood flow into the cavernus cavernosum along its shaft. Blood also goes into the testicles. Usually the testicles increase in size about 50 percent during sexual arousal, pulling the scrotum up toward the penis, making the testicles move. In younger men, prolonged arousal may result in a doubling of the size of the testicles, pulling the scrotum tight, increasing pressure and intensity of ejaculation. 

If you're 55 years old, not 15, and your testicles still dance around when you think about sex, good for you. But if you if you have persistent, painful motion in your testicles, you can have a combination of problems, any, some, or all of the following:

  • Spasms in the cremaster muscle, which pulls the scrotum up and relaxes to let it fall down, can cause scotal pain.
  • Spasms in the muscles around the anus can cause pain that is referred to the testicles, felt in the testicles even though it does not originate ther.
  • Testicular torsion (twisting of the spermatic cord) can cause intense testicular pain, but also nausea, vomiting, and odd pointing of the testicles with or without severe testicular pain.
  • Inserting or removing a catheter can injure tissues that cause pain to be felt in the testicles or the scrotum even though the injury is in the urinary tract.
  • Cocaine abuse can cause intense pain in the scrotum.
  • Crohn's disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases can cause pain in the scrotum with or without pain in the bowel.
  • Diseases of the adrenal glands can cause changes in the placement of the testicles.
  • Damage to nerves during vasectomy can result in testicular pain and swelling, as can nerve damage in other surgical procedures or during radiation treatment.
  • Hydrocele, or "old man's big balls syndrome," usually doesn't cause testicular pain, unless the swelling is so great that it cuts off blood circulation or twists the spermatic cord (both of which are rare events).

If you have "jumpy balls" and pain, you really need to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment. But if the movement is just due to sexual stimulation, enjoy it.

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