Testicular Failure

What causes testicular failure? There are several possible reasons that testicles don’t support sperm production. Some of the most common include: cancer, genetic disorders, maldecent of testicle and severe injury.

Testicular Failure

Testicular failure is the one cause of infertility that medicine can’t do a whole lot about. It occurs when the cells of the testicle are unable to produce or nourish sperm to maturation. There are several reasons this can happen. Injury can cause tissue within the testicle to die. Various genetic disorders can cause prevent the development of key cell types or prevent cells from expressing proteins needed for the creation of sperm.

Klinefelter syndrome

Men generally have a “XY” chromosomal makeup (women are “XX”). However, occasionally boys are born with an extra X chromosome in their genetic makeup – “XXY”, or “47,XXY”. This condition is known as Klinefelter Syndrome, and it has been shown to drastically reduce the man’s fertility.

Cryptorchidism: Missing balls

Poor descent of the testicle is one of the most common birth defects in baby boys affecting 3% of full-term babies and up to 30% of premies. Often the testicle will descend on its own during the first year of life (usually during the 1st 3 months), however sometimes surgery is required. In these cases, fertility is at risk as keeping the testicle in the body longer overheats the cells responsible for producing sperm and permanently cooking the ball. Boys with crytorchidism are also more likely to have other structural issues which can cause blockages leading to azoospermia.


Cancer is incredibly hard on the body. Treatment of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy is equally hard. Because cancer is a rapidly dividing cell, cancer therapies target cells that rapidly divide. This is why patients undergoing chemo loss hair and experience nausea. Unfortunately, sperm cells and the cells in the testicle that create sperm cells fall in the category of rapidly dividing cell and therefore can be wiped out during cancer treatment. If you have cancer, it is possible to donate a semen sample before undergoing treatment to freeze and preserve your fertility.

Infection & Injury

“Protect the family jewels” has an element of truth to it. Injury to the testicle can destroy tissue needed for sperm production. A cheap shot below the belt isn’t likely to do it but if you somehow injure yourself and the pain doesn’t subside it is a good idea to go to the ER. Sometimes blood flow to the testicle can get cut off and cause irreversible damage. Infections can also cause severe damage. Often these can be treated with medication. Take home point: if it hurts or it’s weird and it doesn’t go away. Good idea to see a doctor, even if its embarrassing. Your balls will thank you.

Sertoli cell-only syndrome

There are two main types of cells involved with the maturation of sperm. Sertoli cells act as mothers to the baby sperm. They feed and take care of them. Leydig cells act more like fathers and provide things that baby sperm need including testosterone. In sertoli cell-only syndrome, there either aren’t enough leydig cells or there is something wrong with them.

Sara SDx

Sara SDx

Editor of Don't Cook your Balls, Co-Founder of TrakFertility.com, Health Coach and Men's Health Advocate. Passionate about sperm, men's health and helping people build their families.
Sara SDx

Author: Sara SDx

Editor of Don't Cook your Balls, Co-Founder of TrakFertility.com, Health Coach and Men's Health Advocate. Passionate about sperm, men's health and helping people build their families.

4 thoughts on “Testicular Failure”

  1. I am going to See another Specialist which is a Urologist and also does Work on Stem Cells for Undecended Testicles and to See if the Urologist can Help Me. Ii have been on this Coment Section before which was the 30th of May 2017and My Name is Richard Adshead and 52 Years Old now. I would like My Testicles to be the Normal Size and they Work to Produce Sperm and the Homon Levels go back to what they should be and like all other Men. It has left Me Devastated to be Honest with you that I can’t have any Children of my Own. The Situation is more Sad because I Lost My Wife in early 2016 called Angela after nearly 20 Years of Marriage and I am Confronted by being on My Own . I Lost My Mother when I was 30 Years Old and My Mum was 52 Years Old from a Brain Anorism. My Father is Still Alive at the Age of 78 Years Old and does not bother with Me . I have a Brother and He has his Own Family of Two Boys and a Girl and does not Bother with Me because of a Argument. I have no Anties and Uncles left because they have Died off over the Years. This is the Reason I would like My Own Family if possible. People would Ask Why did I not do anything about this Condition in My Early 20 ‘s and the Answer is I had no Confidence and My Upbringing and didn’t know. I could Cry for Weeks concerning this Condition and I find it so Unfair and has Deverstated as I have mentioned before. Can any Doctor Help Me and be a Normal Person again .

  2. I am a 51 Year Old Man now and I had undecended testicles when I was Born . I had them corrected in the early seventies and they have never Developed at all , Frozen in Time. I new they were Damaged because of the Operation to bring them down. But what I didn’t know is that my Parents had left this condition until I was nearly Nine. I was Born in 1965 and did not have the Operation until 1974 and I viewed my Medical Records to find out. This has made me very Angry and Sad that my Parents didn’t bother to do anything about it, because they would have been told about this condition by the Doctors when I was Born. And there is nothing I can do for Primary Testicular Failure. Your Parent are surpost to look after you when you are a Baby and your Wellbeing. Have the Testicles been Cooked and then Damaged by the Hospital to bring them down in a Operation. I was a big Lad when I had the Operation in 1974 which made it more difficult. I would like a Doctor’s opinion on this condition. I have already seen a Urologist but I would like a second opinion. Thank you. Regards Richard.

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