Testicular failure: Overview, Causes

Definition

Testicular failure is the inability of the testicles to produce sperm or male hormones.

See also:

  • Hypogonadism
  • Secondary hypogonadism

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Testicular failure is uncommon. Causes include:

  • Certain drugs, including glucocorticoids, ketoconazole, and opioids
  • Chromosome problems
  • Diseases that affect the testicle, including mumps, orchitis, and testicular cancer
  • Injury to the testicles
  • Testicular torsion

The following things increase the risk for testicular failure:

  • Activities that may cause constant, low-level injury to the scrotum, such as riding a motorcycle
  • Frequent and heavy use of marijuana
  • Undescended testicles at birth

Pictures & Images

Endocrinae glands

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

Male reproductive anatomy

Male reproductive anatomyThe male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.


Review Date : 6/22/2009
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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