Testicular artery

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on April 2, 2015

As the name implies, the testicular artery is the blood vessel mainly responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to each of the testicles. It is therefore found only in males, although similar structures are found within the female sexual organs. It is sometimes called the male gonadal artery or, in older texts, the internal spermatic artery.

Each testicular artery is a branch of the abdominal aorta. Normally, only one testicular artery per testicle is present, but multiple testicular arteries per testicle have been found in certain individuals.

These arteries are long, thin vessels that pass behind the peritoneum — a thin layer of tissue that lines the abdomen, rectum, and bladder. On reaching the scrotal area, the testicular arteries branch and begin to supply the epididymis (ducts that store and transport sperm) and ureter (a tube that carries urine from the kidneys and the urinary bladder), as well as the testes.

Although the testicular artery is the major blood supplier for the testicle, there is some redundancy due to the presence of the cremasteric artery and the artery to the ductus deferens. Damage to the testicular artery may cause testicular malfunction but it is more likely that the organ will operate adequately, via these collateral blood supplies.

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