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Situs Inversus
August 2002

Q. I have an anatomy class where we were discussing the testicles and how one hangs lower than the other. My professor said that it is almost always the left one that hangs lower and that doctors have told him that they can therefore diagnose situs inversus if a man has a right testicle that hangs lower. I am curious to know if it is usually the left testicle that hangs lower because my right testicle hangs lower and I am pretty sure that I don't have situs inversus. My premature research has led to about a 50/50 split of men with the right testicle being lower and the left testicle being lower. Is that normal? Is any evidence for diagnosing situs inversus by which testicle hangs lower?

A. It is often the case that one testicle is lower than the other one in the resting position. Either the right or left can be lower, and at times they seem even. The position alone is not an indication of anything wrong. Situs inversus is a rare condition in which all the body organs are reversed in position from right to left. Testicular self-exam is a good skill to have in efforts to prevent testicular cancer. More information is found at the sites listed below.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003909.htm

http://urology.jhu.edu/diseases/testicle/

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