This is a common question for many men, especially as they get older. The short answer is no – your testicles do not actually fall out of your body or scrotum under normal circumstances. However, there are some important changes that can happen to the testicles and scrotum as men age.
What happens to the testicles as men get older?
During puberty, the testicles descend from inside the abdomen down into the scrotum. This is an important part of male development, as the testicles need to be a few degrees cooler than body temperature for proper sperm production.
Once fully descended, the testicles are held in place by the cremaster muscle and spermatic cord. As long as these structures remain intact, the testicles stay securely in the scrotum. However, some changes can occur with age:
- The scrotum skin becomes looser and more wrinkled.
- The cremaster muscle weakens and does not pull up the testicles as tightly.
- The spermatic cord can elongate slightly.
These changes allow the scrotum and testicles to hang lower and appear more “dropped down.” But the actual testicles are still firmly attached inside the scrotum – they do not detach or fall out.
What conditions can cause the testicles to detach?
While the testicles will not spontaneously detach and fall out of the scrotum, there are some medical conditions that can potentially cause complete detachment in rare cases:
- Testicular torsion – Twisting of the spermatic cord cuts off blood flow to the testicle. The testicle can detach if torsion is left untreated.
- Scrotal hernia – Part of the intestines protrude into the scrotum next to the testicle and can sometimes wrap around/detach the testicle.
- Scrotal trauma – A hard direct blow to the testicles can cause detachment due to rupture of the spermatic cord.
- Spermatic cord cysts – Fluid-filled cysts on the spermatic cord can grow large enough to detach the testicle in rare cases.
However, even with these conditions, complete detachment of a testicle is very rare. It would require leaving the condition untreated for a prolonged period of time.
When to see a doctor
It’s important to see a doctor promptly if you notice any of the following:
- Significant swelling, redness, or pain in a testicle
- Sudden change in the position of a testicle
- Sensation that a testicle is detaching or no longer attached
- Protrusion of tissue from the scrotum
- Trauma or injury to the genitals
While testicular detachment is very unlikely, testicular torsion is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. Even mild symptoms should be evaluated quickly to identify the cause and prevent potential complications like testicular death or necrosis.
Things that can cause the scrotum to appear more droopy
There are some additional factors that can cause the scrotum to appear more loose, wrinkled or droopy over time:
- Aging – The scrotal skin loses elasticity as men get older.
- Weight gain – Extra fat deposits in the pubic area can make the scrotum hang lower.
- Warm temperatures – The cremaster muscle relaxes in warm conditions, allowing the scrotum to hang looser.
- Increased time spent sitting – Gravity causes the scrotum to hang lower when sitting for prolonged periods.
- Epididymal cysts – Fluid-filled cysts attached to the testicles can add weight and cause droopiness.
However, these factors only affect the scrotum itself – not the actual attachment of the testicles. The testicles remain securely affixed unless one of the rare medical conditions mentioned above occurs.
Can anything prevent age-related drooping?
There is no way to fully prevent the scrotum from loosening and drooping a bit with age. However, some things that may help include:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Wearing underwear that provides adequate support
- Avoiding extended hot baths or saunas
- Treating any medical condition that causes scrotal swelling
- Doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the cremaster muscle
See a doctor if drooping is accompanied by swelling, pain, or other symptoms. While the degree of drooping is rarely a medical concern, the underlying cause might need treatment.
It is normal for the scrotum to become more relaxed and droopy with age. However, the testicles do not actually detach or “drop out” without a rare underlying medical condition. Sudden changes in testicle position or sensation of detachment warrant an urgent medical evaluation. With proper care and awareness, men can rest assured their testicles will remain securely in place within the scrotum throughout life.
|Puberty||Testicle descent into scrotum|
|40s-50s||Scrotum becomes looser and more wrinkled|
|60s+||Scrotum droops lower|
What causes testicular detachment?
Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord becomes twisted, cutting off blood flow. This is a medical emergency requiring surgery to untwist or remove the testicle before necrosis sets in.
If intestinal tissue protrudes into the scrotum, it can sometimes wrap around and compress the testicle and spermatic cord. This can gradually cause detachment in rare cases.
A significant direct blow to the testicles can potentially cause the testicle and spermatic cord to rupture due to the force. Sudden trauma is more likely to cause detachment than gradual compression or twisting.
Spermatic Cord Cysts
While rare, large fluid-filled cysts on the spermatic cord can grow big enough to compress, twist, and block blood flow to the testicle. This gradual compression can result in testicular detachment over time if left untreated.
Warning Signs of Testicular Problems
- Pain, swelling, or redness in the scrotum or testicle
- Nausea, vomiting, fever, or abdominal pain along with scrotal symptoms
- Feeling that a testicle is detaching or higher up than normal
- Visible protrusion of tissue from the scrotum
- Recent injury or trauma to the scrotum or testicles
If you notice any of these signs, see a doctor promptly. Catching the problem early is important for preventing complications.
Steps to Prevent Scrotal Drooping
While drooping is often unavoidable with age, some tips to help maintain scrotal support and position:
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight
- Wear supportive, athletic underwear
- Avoid extended hot baths or saunas
- Treat medical conditions causing swelling or fluid accumulation
- Consider Kegel exercises to strengthen the cremaster muscle
Implementing some of these steps may help reduce excessive drooping and stretching of the scrotum over time.
The Bottom Line
It is normal for the scrotum to become more relaxed and droopy with age. However, rest assured this does not mean your testicles are actually detaching or falling out. Sudden changes in testicle position or sensation should be evaluated promptly by a doctor. With proper awareness and care, men can remain confident their testicles will stay in place throughout their lifetime.