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Anatomy and Physiology
testes are two glands suspended within a sac of skin called the scrotum. They
are composed of a large number of seminiferous tubules. The testes have two
main functions: formation, development and excretion of sperm (occur in seminiferous
tubules), and secretion of testosterone.
FSH from the anterior pituitary stimulates the creation and
development of sperm. Sperm consist of a head, neck, body, and tail. The nuclear
material in the head is responsible for fertilizing the egg. Sperm formation
starts when a boy is approximately 13 years old. They need a temperature of
95° to develop properly and that is why they are located outside the main
body cavity. The smooth muscle in the wall of the scrotum can somewhat regulate
temperature by contracting and bringing the testes closer to the body when
cold and relaxing when too warm. Sperm continue to mature and are stored in
the epididymus, which rests on the posterior surface of the testes and in the
vas deferens and its ampulla. Each ml. of semen will contain on the average
120,000,000 sperm and since the average ejaculation is 3.5ml., it contains
about 400,000,000 sperm.
LH secreted from the anterior pituitary stimulates testosterone
production and secretion by the interstitial cells of Leydig. These cells
make up 20% of the mass of the adult male testes.
Testosterone can be synthesized from cholesterol and is present
in males and females, though in much larger quantities in males. In puberty,
testosterone has the following functions:
1) Causes growth of penis, scrotum, testes, prostate
2) Growth of facial, axillary, pubic, leg, and arm hair
3) Enlarges the larynx and deepens the voice
4) Increases skin thickness, muscular development, protein
production, bone thickness, ligamentous growth
5) Increases deposition of calcium salts in bone and closing
of bony epiphyses
The adrenal glands also produce testosterone. Testosterone
production decreases after age forty but will continue somewhat throughout
life. It is broken down in the liver and its byproducts excreted in the urine
Symptoms of Testes Dysfunction
1) Infertility due to decreased number of sperm
2) Poor muscle and ligamentous development
3) Brittle bones
4) Due to its relationship to the piriformis muscle some men with testes dysfunction
develop sciatica. A strong piriformis muscle stops the pelvis from torquing
anteriorly. If the piriformis is weak, the pelvis will rock anterior on that
side, and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Causes of Testes Dysfunction
1) Improperly working pituitary gland (see pituitary chapter)
2) Overworked liver being unable to breakdown excess testosterone
(see liver chapter to see how it gets overtaxed)
3) Not dressing warmly enough in cold weather can cause the
testes to decrease in size by 50%. If this becomes a habit it could cause
4) Wearing pants or underwear that are too tight, or taking
very hot baths, can increase testicular temperature and retard sperm development.
5) Hypothyroidism and hypoadrenia have been shown to alter
6) Low back, and colon x-ray without shielding the testes
can possibly injure them.
7) Nerve pressure in the lumbar and sacral areas (see Appendix
8) In animal experiments, taking of epinephrine (humans have
it prescribed in acute asthma and as an ingredient in pain injections) will
decrease sperm development, reduce sex drive, and cause degenerative changes
in the seminiferous tubules.
Other Indications of Testes Dysfunction
1) One of the following muscles may exhibit weakness on manual
muscle testing: piriformis, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius. (see Appendix
C and figures 5.1, 5.2, 5.3).
Prevention and Treatment of Testes Dysfunction
1) Check for pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, and liver dysfunction
and correct them as needed (see respective chapters).
2) Make sure testes are properly shielded during x-ray.
3) The same reflex points listed in ovary treatment #13 are
good for the testes (see Appendix B).
4) Especially if sciatica or low back pain is also present
see a good chiropractor to remove nerve pressure (see Appendix A).
5) Dress warmly and don’t wear clothing too tight.
6) Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Minimize sugar intake
and avoid epinephrine type drugs if possible.
7) A cold compress for 5 minutes followed by a hot compress
for 10 minutes and another cold compress for 5 minutes once daily applied
to either the lumbar spine or inner thighs is reported to stimulate testicular
8) Sunlight striking the scrotum and penis will stimulate
testosterone production. Sunlight in general is beneficial but striking these
areas it is especially helpful.
9) Kelp and saw palmetto are supposed to aid testicular function.
10) Chickweed and/or mullein in poultice form is supposed
to aid swollen testes.
11) Testosterone is sometimes given as a medication to treat
eunuchism, impotence, and prevention of post pregnancy breast pain in women.
Give much consideration before deciding to take this medication. Taken by
females side effects can include masculinization, beard growth, enlarged clitoris,
deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, balding. In males side effects
can include inhibition of testicular function, testicular atrophy. Side effects
that can occur in both males and females include acne, chills, decreased number
of white blood cells, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, increased cholesterol levels.