The testicular atrophy: symptoms and causes

2021-07-22 09:54 PM

Testicular atrophy is a nonspecific symptom, but if present, other investigations should be performed to detect symptoms, signs, and causes of the hormonal disorder.


The testicles are smaller than normal size. Normal testicular volume in adults is 18.6 ± 4.8 mL. The testicles are usually measured with an oval testicle ruler - with this method the majority of adult males have a testicle size of> 15 mL each.


Often met



Varicose veins of spermatozoa.

Less common

Klinefelter syndrome.

Prader – Willi syndrome.

Pituitary failure.


Use of anabolic steroids.


70–80% of the testicle size is produced by the spermatic tubes, so any trauma or dysfunction associated with them can lead to testicular atrophy.

The full development of the testicles requires an adequate supply of blood, the hormones LH and FSH. Testicular atrophy can be caused by ischemia, trauma, lack of stimulant hormones (in primary or secondary hypogonadism) or due to genetic abnormalities.

Klinefelter syndrome (47XXY)

In this syndrome, an additional X chromosome appears. Gonadotropic hormones (LH and FSH) increase production during puberty, the spermatogenesis tubes are fibrosis, shrink and disappear. Consequently, testicle size decreases. However, the reason for this phenomenon is still unclear.

Prader – Willi syndrome

An abnormality on chromosome 15 leads to a decrease in GnRH production, a decrease in FSH / LH levels, and a decrease in testosterone and sperm production of the testes. 'Inactive', the testicles will atrophy.

Use of anabolic steroids

Exogenous steroids affect the activity of the hypothalamus, specifically inhibiting LH secretion, leading to a decrease in testosterone production, ultimately leading to testicular atrophy.

Varicose veins of spermatozoa

Varicose veins of the testicles cause dysfunction of the testicles and, in some cases, testicular atrophy. Causal factors include: increased scrotum temperature, decreased blood to nourishment, increased oxidative stress and decreased testosterone production.


This damage to the liver reduces the production of androgens, peripheral estrogen metabolites. High concentrations of the peripheral estrogen led to a decrease in the production of testosterone and sperm, a decrease in the size of the spermatic tubes so that the testicles are at risk of shrinkage.


Alcohol can shrink the testicles, either directly or indirectly.

Direct: alcohol and some of its metabolites are toxic to Leydig cells and reduce spermatogenesis.

Indirect: alcohol can impair the function of the hypothalamus and pituitary. Some studies show that alcohol use reduces the concentration of LH in the blood.


Although a non-specific symptom, if present, it is advisable to conduct other examinations to detect symptoms, signs and causes of the hormonal disorder.