I lost my ball... no wait, there it is
February 25, 2009 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes my left testicle "falls in" to my abdomen. Is this bad/dangerous?

Rarely (maybe twice a month?), my left testicle will fall out of my scrotum and sort of travel back up my body, creating an obvious bulge on its merry way (presumably along the inguinal canal). The highest it's gotten is approximately aligned with the top of my pubic hair. It's a bit uncomfortable, but I can just push the bulge back in to place and all is well again for a while. Putting very mild pressure to the left of the penis keeps it from falling back in, which is what I usually do when it does happen.

Common factors when this happens are being somewhat cold, being on my back, and having some sort of sexual activity going on down there. I'm not sure that it's ever happened without an erection. It's definitely never happened to the right testicle. This has probably been going on for two years; I haven't experienced any other problems, discomfort, or pain as a result or independently in that region.

Is this normal? Is this a hernia (I haven't had a physical in about 9 years) or a hernia waiting to happen? Is some terrible fate awaiting lefty if I don't get this looked at right away?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Go see a doctor.
posted by kldickson at 8:21 AM on February 25, 2009

If it happens when it's cold, you probably have a problem with your cremasteric muscle.
posted by kldickson at 8:22 AM on February 25, 2009

I have had, word for word, the exact same experience (especially the cold and sex bits), and with the same worry it was an incipient hernia. Once, before I went to a remote location for several months, I went to the doctor to see what I should do if it went up and never came back. After some poking and prodding and coddling and some rather painful boney-finger pokes she said it wasn't a problem, was not uncommon by the way, and if it was reluctant to redescend then apply some warmth and very gentle pressure nudging it along. If it didn't re-descend and/or if it became painful then to get out to see a doctor. That was 5 years ago.

Having said all that: see your doctor or mention it next time you go.
posted by Quadroonian at 8:27 AM on February 25, 2009

This sounds like some sort of hernia to me. Why are you risking your nuts, rather than seeing a doctor immediately.

Seriously...go see a doctor.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:28 AM on February 25, 2009

You can be in a higher risk category for other illness related to that area, so like everyone has said so far, and will say after this, go to the doctor. I don't think it's a "quite reading now and go!" situation, but I know it would be a pretty high priority for me.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:47 AM on February 25, 2009

I'm not big on seeing doctors, but if there's one thing I would go see a doctor about, it would be my testicle mysteriously falling into my abdomen.
posted by The Straightener at 8:50 AM on February 25, 2009 [9 favorites]

I don't think this is anything to worry about.

You'd be surprised, but there are many people who purposefully "tuck" their balls up into their abdomen like this, for various reasons I've heard ranging from the attractiveness factor for cross-dressing, to doing it as a kind of birth-control measure.

I would certainly untuck them whenever you notice this, however, because the temperature in your abdomen is not optimal (probably much too warm).
posted by tybeet at 8:56 AM on February 25, 2009

It might be a hernia; have you had any mysterious lumps coming out and going the other way? If so, you're courting strangulation of the ball (or intestine). Neither one is good.

Hernia surgery has come a long way (if that's what's going on). I believe it's just keyhole, nowadays- may even be local instead of general.

If you value your testicles, I'd bring 'em over to the doc.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2009

I'm sure you should see it a doctor but I'm also pretty sure that most of the other people commenting in this thread haven't spent a lot of time in really, really cold water. But go to a doctor anyway.
posted by rdr at 9:33 AM on February 25, 2009

Go and see a doctor.

That said, I've been able to "lose" both testicles pretty much on command since I figured out what testicles were for. The optimal position seems to be lying on my back, legs spread, with my pelvis tilted forwards. I've noticed this happening for at least 15 years, and haven't had a problem. I always assumed that it was due to the fact that testicles descend from the abdomen during puberty, or something.

As far as I know, in my non-doctor kind of way, an inguinal hernia is where a part of the intestine protrudes through the inguinal wall. You can read up more about that at Wikipedia. This doesn't to me sound like a hernia, as the intestine doesn't appear to be involved. But like I said, I'm not a doctor.

My experience may not be a replication of your experience. Go and see a doctor, just in case your testicle gets stuck one day, goes gangrenous and rots. It probably won't, but you never know. A doctor will be able to allay your fears on this better than strangers on the internet.
posted by Solomon at 9:33 AM on February 25, 2009

This happens to me very occasionally -- although not with a "noticeable buldge" nor can I say that it gets as far as my pubes. It just feels like it slips inside. And yeah I think it only happens during an erection. It's never occurred to me to worry about it and I don't plan to start now. As far as I understand things, hernias are painful and generally suck, so I don't think this has anything to do with a hernia.
posted by creasy boy at 12:39 PM on February 25, 2009

Nthing that you should see a urologist. It's probably nothing, but you do NOT want to take the risk that it isn't.
posted by Citrus at 1:37 PM on February 25, 2009

I've had boyfriends in the past that could pop them back up inside their body and they were perfectly healthy. It could only be done when they were laying on their back.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:25 PM on February 25, 2009

i am constantly shocked by the number of penis/balls questions here. if you think there might be somethign wrong with your genitals get off the inter net and go to a doctor!
posted by swbarrett at 5:01 PM on February 25, 2009

try not to notcie all of my horrible typos....
posted by swbarrett at 5:01 PM on February 25, 2009

BLOCKHEAD: Starting in my homeland of Yemen, I studied with yogis, fakirs and swamis, learning the ancient arts of body manipulation.

But most men know nothing of these arts. For instance, did you know that through the protective Chinese practice of Tiea Bu Shan, you can train your testicles to draw up into your abdomen?

AGENT MULDER: Oh, I'm doing that as we speak.

Not that "The X-Files" should be used for medical information, but it almost sounds as if your inguinal canal is still open enough for that testicle to retreat. See this answer.

IANAD, you should probably see one, etc.
posted by Violet Hour at 12:09 AM on February 26, 2009

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