* Normal aging
* Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals
* Injury to the testicles
* Certain medications, such as female hormones, some corticosteroid medications and some chemotherapy drugs
* Viral infections such as mumps or HIV
* Interruption of blood supply to the testicles due to surgery or disease
* Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicocele)
The testicles consist primarily of germ cells, which make sperm, and Leydig cells, which make male sex hormone (testosterone). Testicular atrophy can affect either or both of these tissues. If only germ cells are affected, infertility may result. If Leydig cells are affected, testosterone levels will diminish, causing decreased sex drive, loss of muscle and bone mass, hot flashes, weight gain, and mood swings.
A doctor may make a diagnosis of testicular atrophy by:
* Physical examination
* Semen analysis
* Blood tests to measure hormone levels
Treatment of testicular atrophy is directed at the underlying cause when possible. Occasionally, atrophy can be reversed if diagnosed and treated early, but it is usually a permanent condition.
Great answer rupertbear. you know you facts. The dr.s can train you how to untwist your own testicles when needed and then do an ultrasound to check for blood flow and any testicle tissue damage. Ultrasounds will show any dead or damaged portions over time. They check your blood testosterone levels and sperm production to see how well your tesicles are functioning and performing to see how healthy your balls are. In basic terms a dying testicle will slowly shrink up smaller in size and put out less and less testosterone and sperm as it shrinks and dies. It will show up in your testosterone levels and sperm counts in lab tests. A man will feel less sexual desire and ability and have less semen at ejaculation. Most older men do worse with testicle injury than younger men who tend to heal up better and faster. Dr.s can do an inexpensive testicular ultrasound to examine each testicle for blood flow and any scarring or dead portions. this is just a small electronic device passed over the scrotum skin (with zero pain or anything to feel bad at all for the man) to depict the two testis by echo sound imaging to show blood flow, oxygen profusion, and tissue health inside each testicle. Dead testicles will shrink up to raisin or smaller size and be numb and not feel any pain. You'd know if they were already dead. The shrinking can be partial damage and not lose the whole testicle and all functions, just some portion of functional capacity equal to lost tissue and production cells. The surgery to correct testicular torsion is an Orchiopexy surgery to sew both testicles directly to the inner sides and very bottom skin of the scrotum interior sides to keep the balls from twisting on their cords again. The side effects can be lasting pain, reduced sperm production, scarring, and reduced hormone functions. They do both testicles since most men with no gubernaculum ligament on one ball usually lack it on both testicles. Younger men do great with orchiopexy surgery. Fully grown and older men have more lasting damage and problems after torsion and orchiopexy surgery than younger men and teens who heal up better then fully matured men do on this injury.