Do testicles get bigger or smaller as you age?
As you may know, ageing brings a lot of changes with it.
Past 30 years old, testosterone – aka T – levels consistently drop, just a tiny itty bit, year by year.
And it happens in your testicles because that’s where the manly hormone is produced.
Now, let’s dig into some facts…
An average testicle is about 4 x 3 x 2 cm in size and has an oval shape. Also, it’s highly normal to have a testes of a different size.
Testicles are found in the scrotum and are attached at each end to the spermatic cord.
These two gorgeous balls not only ensure your T levels but also your fertility, by being essentially external pouches for your sperm.
But if you are here, you may have noticed that your testicles have somewhat changed overtime or you are worried they will.
So, do testicles get bigger or smaller as you age?
And if they do change, does it really matter?
Wondering if your penis can shrink with age too? Check out this article.
When Size Matters
While some studies have suggested that larger testicles are associated with higher testosterone levels in mammals and smaller sperm production…
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a healthy human can’t produce normal testosterone and sperm levels in smaller than average testicles. (source)
Wondering if your testosterone levels are normal? Check out this article.
There are some medical conditions that can influence testes size and testosterone levels. In these cases, medical oversight will be crucial to improve T levels.
For instance, Klinefelter syndrome – which is the result of an additional X chromosome…
Can result in smaller and/or undescended testicles, low sex drive and a few female characteristics, such as less body hair and more breast tissue.
Furthermore, this syndrome can lead to lower T levels and decreased sperm activity, which can result in infertility.
Then, there’s another similar but far more common condition called “male menopause,” otherwise known as hypogonadism.
The symptoms of hypogonadism can include:
- smaller than average testicles
- a decreased amount of body and facial hair
- breast tissue growth
- lower testosterone levels
- decreased sperm count
In both cases, testosterone therapy is the suggested treatment, which can be useful for the most severe cases. Just be aware that it can have serious and lasting side effects.
However, men with mild cases can usually improve both conditions by improving their lifestyle.
However, if your testes are swollen or you notice other symptoms associated with smaller testicles, this could be the sign of an underlying issue. In this case, you should consult a doctor.
Changes of Testicles Size with Age
At birth, a male testicle is about 1 cubic centimetre and it stays that size until around 8, when puberty hits.
Then, during puberty, the testes grow steadily until reaching their adult size.
With age, testosterone levels drop and this drop of production tends to make testicles smaller.
This phenomenon is called testicular atrophy. (source)
This change is very gradual and rarely noticeable. Think of it as your other half losing a little weight and you not noticing because you see them every single day.
However, other than age, specific health issues can also cause testicular atrophy, such as:
- mumps, tuberculosis, and certain viral infections
- blunt trauma
- sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis and gonorrhoea
Obviously, most of these factors will require medical assistance.
But, there are other factors that are rather harmless.
For example, cold can temporarily affect the “apparent” size of your testes and penis.
This is actually a very healthy coping mechanism of the body. Your testicles are outside of your body because your sperm production needs an ideal temperature and your inner body is too warm.
When exposed to cold, your testicles will temporarily retract to maintain the temperature of your precious swimmers. Nothing to worry about there.
Nonetheless, there’s another pathology that can change testicles size and/or shape, especially in older gentleman.
A change of size or shape, a lump, or a “heavier” testicle could be the first sign of testicular cancer.
While this form of cancer is generally treated very successfully, it’s crucial to spot it early on.
A Few Final Words Before We Part…
As you may know, testicles are quite sensitive and unsurprisingly, quite precious.
Benign changes can happen to them but sometimes, the changes can be the symptom of something else.
So, check your testes monthly by gently rolling them between your thumb and fingers to notice any changes in the size, shape or hardness.
If you see or feel anything suspicious, consult a doctor as soon as possible. It probably won’t be a big deal, but it could be.
Thus, it’s better to be proactive to prevent anything from getting worse.
Don’t wait – keep your testes healthy. Your jewels are indeed very precious.
Update – How to Keep Your Testicles from Shrinking
So, let’s review.
The size of your testicles is directly related to your testosterone levels.
As men age, their testosterone levels slowly drop over time.
Meaning the answer is yes, your testicles may shrink a bit as you age.
This is totally normal and not something to freak out about. But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit back and let it happen!
There are plenty of natural ways that you can optimize your testosterone levels (and by extension, your testicle size) as you grow older.
The key here is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Most of these methods are low cost or completely free, but they do require some commitment, dedication, and consistency.
Don’t let that dissuade you though – it’s 100% worth it. The benefits you’ll get from boosted T levels will reap rewards in all areas of your life.
So with that said, let’s review a few proven, natural methods to keep your T levels firing even as you age.
Get More Sleep
I breifly mentioned this above. Let me elaborate a bit more.
The amount of sleep you get is directly related to your testosterone levels. Even just an extra hour of sleep per night can give you a noticeable boost.
Science has proven this time and again.
In one study, two groups of men participated in a sleep trial where group A slept about 4 hours per night and group B slept about 8 hours per night. The men’s testosterone levels were tested in the morning each day.
The results were clear. Group B subjects who slept 8 hours had more that double the amount of testosterone in their bodies than group A subjects at the time of testing.
The kicker? This study was done specifically on older men between 64 and 74 years old. (source)
Drink Less Alcohol
Remember when I said these were low cost or free? Well this one might actually save you money!
An occasional drink isn’t too bad, but alcohol is a testosterone killer if used excessively.
In one study, researchers concluded that heavy, consistent alcohol use can result in hypogonadism. (source)
Remember I mentioned that above? Hypogonadism is the medical name for when your balls stop producing testosterone – not good.
Lots of other studies have come up with similar results. (source)
It really comes down to how much you drink. Heavy drinking is bad, but the occasional drink won’t hurt you too much.
In one study, data showed that drinking the equivalent of about 2 glasses of red wine resulted in just a 7% drop in T levels. (source)
So if you choose to drink, know this: the more you do it, the lower your T levels will be.
Get Some Exercise
Being active is one of the best things you can do to maintain healthy T levels as you age.
Intense exercise will bring you the biggest T boost. I’m talking sprinting, circuit training, resistance training, and weight lifting.
But those aren’t the only ways to increase your T levels through exercise. Even mild activity has been shown to provide a noticeable boost.
In one study, overweight men were tested to see what impact physical activity would have on their T levels.
The men were split into high and low activity groups. Both groups showed increased T levels after 12 weeks, but they were significantly higher in the group doing more activity.
Overall, the team found a significant positive correlation between T levels and the number of steps taken. (source)
So hit the gym, go for a bike ride, or just take a walk – your T levels will get a boost!