Terminology of Conditions Affecting the Testicles & Associated Structures

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  • 0:00 Testicular Disorders
  • 0:36 The -Celes
  • 1:40 Anorchism & Cryptorchidism
  • 2:29 Andropause, Pain, &…
  • 3:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Ouch! This lesson is all about the testicles, including conditions that can cause them a lot of pain and some that may not cause pain but are still important to know about. Let's define everything from andropause to orchitis!

Testicular Disorders

One thing no man wants to endure is a swift kick to the you know where because it'll cause blinding pain. I would know, unfortunately. Besides a comedic football to the groin, there are plenty of things that can cause testicular pain. Actually, there are things that don't cause pain in the testicles that can nonetheless be life threatening. And, there are conditions that affect the testicles that don't have much to do in the way of pain in any case. Let's define a bunch of disorders that affect or involve the testicles.

The -Celes

First, let's begin with a few words that have a common ending; they all end with the suffix of '-cele.'

A hydrocele is a well delineated collection of fluid that surrounds a testicle. 'Hydro-' means water, like a hydroelectric dam, and '-cele' means swelling, such a swelling may lead to the enlargement of the scrotum.

Another word with the same exact suffix is spermatocele, a cyst containing sperm that arises from the epididymis. 'Spermato-' clearly refers to sperm, and the epididymis is a structure that allows for the storage, transportation, and maturation of sperm.

Finally, there's the varicocele, abnormally dilated veins of the spermatic cord. Basically, it's like the varicose veins found on legs, but in the scrotum. But unlike varicose veins of the leg that clearly stand out, a varicocele isn't as obvious some of the time. It can be better detected with a physical exam.

Anorchism & Cryptorchidism

A physical exam would also reveal cryptorchidism or anorchism.

Cryptorchidism is a condition where one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. More commonly, this is just called an undescended testicle. 'Crypto-' means hidden, much like a real-life crypt may be! While cryptorchidism refers to an undescended testicle, the testicle is still there! It's just not in the right place.

However, anorchism means the absence of one or more testicles. 'An-' means without, and '-orchi(o)' refers to testicle. Sometimes, anorchism is a congenital problem, meaning its present at birth, and other times it occurs as a result of surgery to remove a testicle.

Andropause, Pain, & Inflammation

Those who don't have testicles should be happy they don't have to deal with orchialgia, testicular pain.

A testicular torsion, the twisting of the testicle on the spermatic cord (where torsion means twisting) can most definitely cause pain! Ouch! However, potentially deadly conditions like testicular cancer, a cancer that most often affects young men, is usually painless early on and is best detected by regular self-exams.

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