Spermatic cord

The spermatic cord is actually a bundle of fibers and tissues that form a cord-like structure that runs through the abdominal region down to the testicles in males. This cord is present as a pair, with one cord connecting to either the right or left testicle.

It performs multiple physiologic functions in males, including the primary function of facilitating the passage of semen. Problems with the functioning of this cord can result in pelvic pain and impotence, which is the inability to maintain an erection.

In anatomical terms, the cord is usually referred to as the vas deferens. However, the vas deferens is just a part of its anatomy. This cord also performs the additional role of supplying blood to the testicles.

The cord is enveloped by fibrous tissue to prevent it from the risk of injury and trauma, but it is still delicate enough to be vulnerable to the torsion (twisting) of testicles. Apart from testicular torsion, the spermatic cord is also prone to the risks of herniation. A hernia — a bulge of organs or tissue through a weak spot in the abdominal wall — can impinge upon (constrict) the cord, resulting in its malfunctioning. Under such circumstances, surgical treatment is usually necessary to correct this condition.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Spermatic cord

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