One Testicle Softer Than the Other: Should You Worry?

One Testicle Softer Than The Other (Featured Image)

One Testicle Softer Than the Other: Should You Worry?

Article Overview

Worried about your testicules? This article covers the potential causes of soft testicules, as well as how to undertake a self-examination and what to look out for.

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Last updated Last updated 30 August, 2022

One Testicle Softer Than The Other (Summary Image)

Infertility is a term no man wants to hear, and just like women should check their breasts regularly, men should be checking their testicles for any signs that something might be wrong. Of course, lumps are what we tend to look out for, but what if you notice one testicle is softer than the other?

A soft testicle is normal unless it is associated with lumps, bumps, pain, or blood in pee or semen. In that case, you might worry that you have testicular atrophy, testicular cancer, low testosterone, or varicocele. Check with your doctor as soon as you notice anything unusual.

This article will look at what having a soft testicle means and whether it should be a cause for alarm. Hopefully, by the end of the read, you’ll know more about testicular health and how to improve it.

Letter W IconIs It Normal to Have Soft Testicles?

It’s normal to have soft testicles and shouldn’t worry you. Your testicles should feel smooth, firm, but not hard, with no bumps or lumps. If you feel they’re uncharacteristically hard, abnormal, and painful, see your doctor immediately, especially if there’s also blood in your urine and semen.

The symptoms mentioned above will most likely signal the occurrence of an underlying issue(s) that’ll need to be treated so as not to cause irreversible damage.

Remember: getting checked won’t do any harm, but putting off a check-up could lead to much larger issues down the road.

Letter C IconPossible Causes of Soft Testicles

Your testes are oval-shaped organs in your scrotum containing Germ Cellsexternal link icon and Leydig Cellsexternal link icon, which create sperms and testosterone, respectively.

Typically, testicular size varies from person to person and often doesn’t affect your health. However, sudden and noticeable changes in testicular size can signify underlying conditions that’ll need to be taken care of immediately.

Though there’s no direct cause for soft testicles, it’s often related to changes in testicular size – most often shrinkage.

It is considered normal if your testicle averages between 1.8 to 2 inches (4.5 to 5.1 cm) in length. A testicle below 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long is small.

It’s also normal for one testicle to be smaller or slightly raised than the other.

However, soft testicles can also be a sign that you have an undiagnosed condition. Let’s go over these in better detail below.

Testicular Atrophy

Testicular atrophy is when one or both of your testes shrink due to the loss of Germ cells and Leydig cells, which lowers sperm count and testosterone levels.

Unfortunately, it’s often confused with the temporary shrinking of the scrotum that happens during cold temperatures to keep the testicles warm.

Symptoms of Testicular Atrophy

Symptoms of testicular atrophy vary depending on underlying conditions and age. For example, if you’re undergoing puberty, it may be shown by not developing some secondary sexual features such as pubic, facial hair, or a larger penis.

Facial and pubic hair may still be reduced or completely absent after puberty, as well as decreased muscle mass, low sex drive, infertility, and extremely soft testicles.

It can be challenging to determine the exact cause of soft and small testes, as testicular atrophy may signal an underlying condition. In addition, symptoms of testicular atrophy often resemble those of other testicular medical conditions.

Diagnosis of Testicular Atrophy

To diagnose testicular atrophy, your doctor will ask questions about your sexual history, lifestyle, or even family history, to ascertain the possible cause of the condition. They’ll then examine you to determine the size, firmness, and texture of your testicles.

Additional tests include a testicular ultrasound to identify if lumps or cysts exist, as well as sources of swelling or pain. The doctor may also do a blood count and testosterone level test.

Treatment of Testicular Atrophy

Treatment for testicular atrophy will depend on its exact cause. However, your doctor can recommend making lifestyle changes, including cutting excessive alcohol consumption that damages testicular tissues and lowers testosterone levels.

Testicular Cancer

Cancer is an atypical growth of cells that can affect anyone and possibly spread to other parts.

When this occurs in the testes, it’s known as testicular cancer. It mainly occurs on one testicle and, though not often, can also occur on both.

The majority of testicular cancers begin in the sperm cells of the testicles.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Symptoms of testicular cancer include but are not limited to:

  • Feeling a lump on one or both testicles
  • Pain in your testicle
  • Aching in the groin or abdomen

You may also feel the scrotum being heavy or containing fluid. Some less common symptoms include:

  • Having tender or enlarged breasts
  • Feeling pain in your bones
  • Back pain
  • Slight pain in your lower abdomen
  • Coughing
  • Swelling in your lower legs.

Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

A precise diagnosis will be made through blood tests searching for traces of increased tumor markers to determine the likelihood of cancer spreading once the testicle has been cut.

The doctor will also require that a Computerized Tomography scan (CT scan) be made on your chest, abdomen, and pelvis to know if cancer has already spread. These scans help determine which stage the cancer is in; hence the doctor can determine the appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Testicular Cancer

The good news is that testicular cancer is treatable.

Options for treatment include surgery, where the doctor will remove the cancerous testicle. The doctor may also remove abdominal lymph nodes if the cancer has advanced.

Radiation therapyexternal link icon using high-energy beams like X-rays destroys the cancer cells at high precision. Then, the cancerous cells that might have spread throughout your body are removed using chemotherapy.

You should visit a doctor if the symptoms persist beyond two weeks.

Treatment Side Effects

While removing lymph nodes near the testes, some nerves may be unavoidably damaged, making ejaculation difficult. An erection can, however, still be achieved.

Radiation therapy can also cause fatigue and nausea while reducing your sperm count temporarily, hence affecting fertility. You can also have irritation and redness of the skin in your groin and abdomen.

Lastly, besides having nausea, fatigue, increased infections, and hair loss, chemotherapy can also cause infertility.

Talking to your doctor before treatment will help you determine which treatment is best.

Low Testosterone (Hypogonadism)

Hypogonadismexternal link icon is the incapability of the testicles to make sperm, testosterone, or both.

Normal levels of testosterone in men are 300-1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). However, this changes as you age or with prevailing medical conditions and is considered normal.

Severe hypogonadism can, however, have adverse effects on your standard of life. Here are the two different levels of low testosterone in more detail:

  • Primary hypogonadism. This occurs at a younger age if you’re born with an extra X chromosome (Klinefelter’s syndromeexternal link icon) or through radiation treatment or chemotherapy. Tumors, mumps, or traumas to your testes may also cause primary hypogonadism.
  • Secondary hypogonadism. This is caused by a disease that affects the pituitary glandexternal link icon or hypothalamusexternal link icon. These organs cause the testes to create testosterone.

Low testosterone levels from normal aging (andropauseexternal link icon) begin when you reach 40 years old, where testosterone levels begin decreasing by 1.2 to 2% yearly. Contrastingly, hypogonadism can happen at any age, and its effects will depend on when the condition starts.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Low testosterone levels can affect the body, depending on age, length, and extent of the deficiency. For example:

  • Hypogonadism during adolescence will cause you to look younger than your actual age, lack facial hair, deep voice, muscle mass, or have small genitals.
  • During puberty, hypogonadism causes small testicular size, larger breasts, and low sexual development.
  • Hypogonadism occurring in adulthood causes low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, general weakness, low libido, and decreased body hair.

You may also experience increased body fat, osteoporosisexternal link icon, reduced muscle mass, and breast enlargement. In addition, if you have low testosterone levels, you won’t get an erection (erectile dysfunction), and you’ll likely have a low sex drive, general tiredness, and struggle in conceiving a child.

Treatment of Low Testosterone

Hypogonadism is treated using Testosterone Replacement Therapyexternal link icon (TRT), administered either by injection, as a patch, or a topical gel. It’ll have noticeable improvements in mood, libido, quality of life, and bone density.

However, TRT treatment effectiveness varies, and close examination by your doctor will be required as it may worsen prostate cancer or congestive heart failure.


Varicocele is the abnormal enlargement of the veins inside the scrotumexternal link icon, occurring in the same way a varicose veinexternal link icon may occur on your leg. They appear during puberty and may become more extensive with time. Varicoceles mainly happen on the left testicle and rarely on both.

The testes are found in the scrotal sac outside the body as they need to be at least 5°F (3°C) lower than the pelvis for optimal sperm production. Temperature regulation is aided by the pampiniform plexusexternal link icon, which cools the blood in the testicular artery as it enters the testes.

If they become enlarged, it increases the heat and consequently lowers sperm count.

Symptoms of Varicocele

Varicoceles will mainly not cause any symptoms. However, it can reduce the growth of your left testicle during puberty and cause infertility as a result of low sperm count.

Though rare, you may also experience pain in your testicles which may be sharp or dull, especially when moving.

Treatment of Varicocele

Varicocele treatment may not be necessary as many men are still able to have children regardless.

However, if the condition causes pain, infertility, or testicular atrophy, you’ll need a varicocele repair surgery. The surgery involves closing the affected vein to reroute blood to veins to improve cooling.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)external link icon can also increase sperm quality if the condition has led to infertility.

Letter T IconHow To Perform a Testicular Self-Examination

Before going to a doctor, you can physically inspect your testicles to see if they’re healthy or not. It’s called a testicular self-examination (TSE).

A TSE will help you understand how your testicles feel to better identify when there are changes. These changes can be minor, caused by a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), or severe, like testicular cancer.

Therefore, if you notice changes such as lumps on your testicles, you should consult your doctor for further diagnosis.

There’s no special preparation needed to do a testicular self-exam. However, these steps will help you to do it in the most optimum way.

  1. Take a warm/hot shower. As mentioned, hot temperatures cause your testicles to sag down to your scrotum, which relaxes them. This will make it easier to hold your scrotum and visibly spot any marks or changes on your testes.
  2. Hold your testicles with one hand and a mirror in the other. Though not necessary, a mirror will help you to observe your scrotum from different angles. You, of course, have to be naked to view your testicles. Using one hand, hold your penis and pull it away from your scrotum while holding your scrotum with the other hand, looking for any visible swellings on the scrotum.
  3. Examine each testicle. Place your thumb on top of your testicles and examine each while your middle and index fingers are beneath. Do this while gently rolling the testicle between your fingers and thumbs. Pay close attention to any lumps, pain, hardness, or softness of the testicles.

Letter R IconSigns of Unhealthy Testicles

As mentioned, if you perform regular self-examinations, you should spot anything out of the ordinary pretty quickly. But what counts as out of the ordinary?

Swelling in Testicles or Scrotum

A healthy testicle should feel firm but not hard. It should also not have any lumps, swelling, or be enlarged, as well as increased firmness.

These can be a sign of underlying illnesses such as testicular cancer or an infection. If not treated, they can cause irreparable damage.


Whether caused by an STI or physical injury, pain in your scrotum or testes is also a sign you are unwell and, if left untreated, infections may cause permanent infertility.

Therefore, when your testicles or surrounding areas become painful, it’s highly advisable to visit your doctor as quickly as possible.

Blood in Urine or Semen

Blood in your urine will usually follow testicular pain and can be caused by an infection in the urinary tract. STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea also cause epididymitisexternal link icon, which inflames the testicles and, in severe cases, leads to bleeding.

Having this seen at the onset of symptoms will hopefully prevent bleeding and stop the condition from advancing.

Low Sex Drive

The testes produce the male sex hormone testosterone; consequently, decreased testosterone levels lead to low sex drive.

Low sexual performance can be frustrating to both partners, reducing self-confidence and self-perception, thus causing more relationship issues. It’s therefore critical that you talk to your doctor about any problems with your sex drive as soon as you notice any difference.

Disclaimer: As soon as you notice any of these signs during a self-examination, consulting your doctor is highly recommended. Your doctor may then do an ultrasound, CT scan, biopsy, or blood test to make a proper diagnosis.

Letter H IconHow To Improve Testicular Health

If you ever plan on having kids, and even if you don’t, the health of your testicles is important.

Even if infertility isn’t an issue for you, lumps, bumps, and soft testicles could be a warning that something else is wrong. And the last thing you want is to wait and find out the problem could’ve been prevented if you’d seen a doctor sooner.

That said, there are some things you can do to maintain the health of your testicles.

Improve Your Diet

The weakness of testicular arteries makes normal oxygenationexternal link icon difficult in the male reproductive system. As a result, it makes it more vulnerable to oxidative stress, which is linked to testicular cancer.

Eating foods such as spinach, cherries, and blackberries, which are rich in antioxidants, will boost your testicular and general health. In addition, oranges, kale, alfalfa sprouts, strawberries, prunes, corn, and eggplants are full of good antioxidants that can improve your testicular health.

As a good rule of thumb, you should avoid fatty foods to prevent getting unwanted body weight.

Exercise Regularly

Yep, don’t be a couch potato. Regular exercise helps to get rid of that excess weight, which in turn increases blood flow to your genitals, raising your sex drive and sperm count.

Regular exercises help to reduce stress while also increasing your sex drive and boosting your fertility. Going for walks or jogging regularly also exposes you to Vitamin D, which can helpexternal link icon improve your testosterone levels.

Taking vitamin D supplements may also help with this.

Exercise and diet should go hand in hand so that you maintain an optimum body mass index (BMI) and remain fit.

Protect Your Testicles During Exercise

While regular exercise is highly encouraged, it might also help if you took extra care of protecting your testicles and the whole genital area. This primarily applies if you play overly physical sports, like wrestling or jiu-jitsu.

Also, be wary of other sports that expose you to injuries, such as cricket and baseball.

Various products are made to protect the groin area while sporting, and having one may save you a lot of pain and keep you from sustaining potentially serious injuries.

This Mcdavid Boxer Short w/ Protective Flex Cupexternal link icon is stretchy and moisture-wicking to help keep you cool. Plus, the cup is removable for easy washing.

Avoid Drugs

Using drugs can harm your fertility. In particular, tobacco has been shown to reduce sperm count both in chewingexternal link icon and smokingexternal link icon. Cigarette smoking has also been linked to kidney, prostate, bladder, and testicular cancer.

Therefore, for optimal health of your testes, it would be best if you avoided drugs.

Keep Your Testicles Cool

We’ve mentioned that your testicles need to be at least 5 degrees lower than your body temperature for optimal performance (5.4ºF (3ºC), to be exact).

You should, therefore, ensure that they’re cool at all times so that testosterone and sperm production is high. This means avoiding warm laptops on your lap and wearing breathable underwear and clothing.

Letter H IconWrapping Up

Having healthy testicles is critical to having overall great sexual health.

Before you panic, keep in mind that soft testicles alone don’t usually cause concern. However, if you also notice bumps, pain, or have blood in your pee or semen, then it’s time to see the doctor.

These symptoms often allude to underlying conditions like varicocele, low testosterone, testicular cancer, and testicular atrophy.

Self-examination is the first step to ensuring you have healthy testicles. If you detect a change in how your testicles feel, it would be wise to consult your doctor for the appropriate treatment to be undertaken.

This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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Chris Sabian Author & Site Owner

Avatar of Chris Sabian

So I’m Chris Sabian, the creator and owner of the Penis Enlargement Resource website.

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Yes! Every product i review i actually have possession of – i’m not simply writing reviews based on other generic online content, so if your reading a review and can’t see any unique photos or videos, chances are it’s just an affiliate marketer trying to make a quick buck off your insecurities.

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This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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