Let It Dangle

How To Prevent Saggy Balls

Experts disagree on whether doing Kegels and wearing tight underwear will help.

A man in underwear putting on pants.
PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/Getty

There’s a method to much of the body’s madness. This includes (especially), our sex organs. The mushroom-shaped penis is that way for very good reason. Likewise, testicles — dangling oddly below the body, ever in the way and ripe for a painful bump — are designed by evolution with said precision. Yet, as time goes by, your balls can start to sag, in what is a perfectly normal reaction of your body to aging. But we don’t always like what our bodies have to offer. So is there anything you can do to prevent sagging balls?

Why Do Balls Dangle?

First, it’s important to under the reason your dangly bits hang low in the first place. Namely, temperature regulation. While body temperature should hover around 98.6°F most of the time, the ideal temperature for semen production is a couple of degrees below that, around 97°F. The testicles can actively hang farther away from the body when it gets hot, and when it gets cooler, they can shrink up closer to the body and garner some of that heat.

“That's where they like to be. I think it has a lot to do with anatomic efficiency,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D., managing director of the Personalized Urology and Robotics Clinic at South Lake Hospital and Orlando Health.

That’s why, in most cases, it’s totally normal to have testicles that hang low — and like penises, every scrotum hangs slightly differently, Brahmbhatt says.

But over time, as you get older, the balls can start to sag a little lower. That’s because as you age, your skin starts to lose some of its collagen — the molecule responsible for its elasticity — and muscle may atrophy slightly, making the testicles and scrotum relax.

“Don't panic. This naturally happens with age,” says Aleece Fosnight, medical advisor for Aeroflow Urology. Sagging doesn’t impact ejaculation or orgasm, bladder function, or the amount of semen released.

When this begins to occur varies from person to person, but is usually around age 50 or 60. If this visibly starts happening earlier for you, say in your 30s, you might want to get it checked out.

Sagging balls are only rarely a sign of a medical condition, such as an infection, cyst, hernia or varicocele (which is when one of the veins in your ball sack enlarges). “You can always seek medical attention if you have concerns. However, typically there is nothing to be worried about unless there is swelling or a mass or growth in the scrotum, or if you feel you have pain in the scrotum and testicles,” says Fosnight.

How To Avoid Saggy Balls

Since the sagging comes with aging, there’s not much you can do about it, other than living a healthy lifestyle which slows the aging process of your body overall. That means avoiding alcohol and smoking, for example, and eating healthy, drinking water, and exercising regularly. Some experts also suggest getting a good fix of vitamin C and D to amp up your skin’s ability to produce collagen and slow the skin’s aging.

“There's ways to potentially proactively slow it down, but there's no way to prevent it,” says Brahmbhatt.

Doing Kegels or wearing tight, padded, and supportive underwear can help, Fosnight says. But Brahmbhatt disagrees: Kegels could make your pelvic muscle stronger, but they won’t do anything for the skin, which is the main culprit. And there's no research showing whether tighty-whities can delay sagging balls.

So, once you have saggy balls, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the droopiness. Don’t be fooled by rumors about how you should be masturbating less or having less sex, or splurging on pills and potions for your nut sack. None of that will tighten it back up. The only options for un-sagging the balls are more invasive.

“Obviously, if it's bothering you and bugging you, you can absolutely see a urologist that dabbles in aesthetics for a procedure where the skin can be kind of taken off and tightened,” says Brahmbhatt. This procedure, called scrotoplasty, lasts up to one hour, but it’s only recommended if your quality of life is heavily impacted by your balls sagging, so it’s quite uncommon.

“There's a lot more things in the world to be concerned about with your personal health that should be a priority,” says Brahmbhatt. “If the sagginess of your balls gets you into a doctor, then hopefully that'll lead into a conversation about other things that should be a priority.”