The scrotum is the sac of skin located beneath the penis that holds and protects the testicles. The testicles are responsible for producing sperm, which happens most optimally at about 93.2ºF (5ºF cooler than the rest of the body). The scrotum moves closer to and further from the body, depending on environmental factors, to maintain that temperature. Scrotal tissues also protect the structures inside the testicles.
The scrotum is a sac of skin located under the penis. It’s divided into two sections and contains the testicles, epididymis (the coiled tube behind the testicles), and the spermatic cord (a structure that contains blood vessels, nerves, and the vas deferens).
The scrotum helps protect the testicles. Its location outside of the body keeps testicular temperature around 2–8 °C below body temperature, which is important for sperm production. In order to regulate the temperature of the testicles, the scrotum moves up and down based on the temperature of a person’s body and the environment.
Research has shown that activities that warm the scrotum and testicles, such as taking a hot bath, bicycling, wearing tight-fitting underwear, or using a laptop computer on the lap, may temporarily damage sperm production and could affect fertility.
Certain conditions involving the scrotum can also affect fertility. These most commonly include:
If you feel pain or swelling in your scrotum, it’s important to see a doctor promptly.