Definition of Scrotum

The saclike structure, a thin layer of muscle and skin, suspended from the base of a man’s pelvis that contains the testicles.

A pair of ligaments, the spermatic cords, extend from the lower abdomen to support the scrotum. The spermatic cords also serve as the conduits for the blood vessels and nerves that supply the testicles.

The abdominal and scrotal muscles contract or relax to raise or lower the scrotum, maintaining the appropriate temperature for spermatogenesis (sperm production). Sperm production, which is a key function of the testicles, requires a temperature of 96ºF to 96.5ºF, about 2 degrees lower than body temperature.

Pubic hair covers the outside of the scrotum after puberty.

See also HERNIA; SPERMATOCELEVARICOCELE.

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