12th May 2017

Testicular health: carrying out a self examination

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Here’s how to carry out a testicular self examination
Debbie McTaggart

There’s so much written about breast checks for women but, if you’re a man, checking your testicles is just as important. It’s vital to know how they feel normally, so you can react and seek advice on any changes you notice. We’re not suggesting you walk around with your hands constantly down your pants, so here’s how to carry out a regular check and some tips on what you should look out for.

Testicular self examination (TSE) shouldn’t be painful, so it’s important that you’re relaxed and that you use gentle hands.

Firstly, make sure your scrotum is warm and relaxed, consider doing the TSE check when you’ve just come out of the shower or bath.

You may also wish to do the TSE in front of a mirror, so you can see what you’re doing. Ensure that you can reach all parts, and check one testicle thoroughly before moving onto the other.



Support your scrotum with the palm of your hand and gently roll the first testicle between your thumb and fingers. Feel for any lumps or swelling and then move onto the second testicle. If there’s pain, try to be a little more gentle. If the pain persists, you should see your GP.

The testes should feel firm and smooth. Any lumps, swelling or abnormalities should be referred to your GP.

Next, feel along the bottom of the scrotum and locate the epididymis that sits at the back of the testicles. You should feel a small bunch of tightly curled tubes. If it feels loose or tender, then you should check with your GP

What’s normal?
As with breast, every man’s testicles will be different and it’s important to regularly check yours so you can quickly gauge what is normal and what is not. Generally though, healthy testicles:

  • feel like a smooth, firm egg
  • range in size from a small bird egg to a chicken egg
  • one testicle can be bigger than the other
  • often one testicle hangs lower than the other.

 

There should be no pain or discomfort in your testicles. If you feel pain, or your testicles become tender or you feel them particularly heavy, then it’s important that you don't panic, but have them checked by your GP.

How regularly should I check?
As regularly as you wish! However, once a month is usually enough.

If I feel a lump, should I be worried?
There’s no denying that finding a lump or abnormality will set your mind racing, however, it’s important to note that the sooner you seek help, the better the outcome is likely to be. A lump doesn’t necessarily mean cancer, it could simply be a cyst. But if it is indicative of something more serious, bear in mind that testicular cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer.

To find out more about how to check your testicles, visit andrologyaustralia.org.au

Related articles:
I think it’s my hormones doc
Diagnosing an enlarged prostate
Cancer: what test to have and when to have them





COMMENTS

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MICK
19th May 2017
10:43am
Debbie? Really! I would have thought this was going to be Leon and I am surprised.
You might like to stick to vaginal issues and leave the hard stuff (no pun intended) to the fellas. This is sounding too much like a 'you show me yours and I'll show you mine' pantomime.
I really wish your web designer would incorporate some 'emotions' on this site. They are badly needed.
Eddy
19th May 2017
11:22am
Come on Mick, we are all adults here. Whether this advice comes from a male or female is not the issue. The advice being accurate is what counts. I am sure most men on this forum are very familiar with breast self examination procedures so now ladies it is your turn to observe. Also Mick be aware that not all urologists are male and not all gynaecologists are female.
FrankC
19th May 2017
11:27am
Yeah I was surprised to see this written by a female, though I do not have a problem with female GPs. Did you mean emoticons , Mick?
MICK
19th May 2017
12:01pm
Yes Frank.

Perhaps you are a bit too politically correct for my liking Eddy. I sort of like private things to remain private and do feel there should perhaps be a line in the sand.
Disco3
19th May 2017
12:01pm
I have no problem with receiving medical advice by a person qualified in health care - GP etc. If you don't like to read this material from a female, OK - but go and see your (? male) GP for advice.
What on earth is the GAYFL, and how / why did it creep into this article?
Young Simmo
19th May 2017
1:17pm
Well Sheilas tell us how to drive and spend money, why shouldn't they tell us how to check under the car?.
MICK
19th May 2017
1:43pm
My wife always seeks out 'lady doctors'. Not sure why and maybe there are different standards between the sexes. For the record I currently have a female doctor but do not require her to check under the bonnet. I can pretty well do that myself. If asked I would be inclined to either nicely say 'no thanks' or retort ok, 'you show me yours and I'll show you mine'.....which would mean I'd be looking for a new doctor.
Methinks you have unleashed a Pandora's box Debbie....oops.
Eddy
19th May 2017
2:24pm
I suspect that Debbie did not actually author this pertinent advice but was repeating what is written elsewhere, like Andrology Australia. Maybe she should have quoted the source of her information rather than expose herself to a suspicion of plagiarism. But then maybe Debbie is an MD and knows what she is writing about.
Trees
19th May 2017
3:19pm
You know I was going to comment but it would be futile. Really only comments worth reading were Eddy's.
As long as you men all check yourselves I guess that is all that matters.
niemakawa
19th May 2017
3:26pm
Secret Men's business.
Oars
19th May 2017
11:03am
And looking at some of those "nice tall chaps" that play the GAYFL, maybe they should check out their underwear styles too ????
FrankC
19th May 2017
11:27am
What is GAYFL, Oars?
Andy Leucite
19th May 2017
11:52am
Absolutely no problem with a female giving intimate advice to males. Surely we are all past gender stereotypes in any job, including professional jobs. One extra point that could have been made is that testicular cancer is more common in young men than old men, and so the message to hand down to our children and/or grandchildren is to ignore feelings of being youthfully bullet proof and realise that testicular cancer is not a condition that appears only in advanced years - almost the opposite is true - and therefore urge young men to check themselves (not just older men), just like we advise young (and older) women to check their breasts regularly. And nail home the message that if you spot it early, it is easily fixable.
pedro the swift
19th May 2017
1:11pm
i have no problems with a female checking out my testicles. The more the merrier!
niemakawa
19th May 2017
3:27pm
I will attest(icles) to that.
niemakawa
19th May 2017
1:47pm
Is this a load of balls!!!!!!!!!
MICK
19th May 2017
4:07pm
I think you need to go travelling again niemakawa. You have too much time on your hands. I recognise the symptoms.
niemakawa
19th May 2017
4:12pm
@MICK I am happy where I am , working and playing hard. And what are these symptoms to which you refer I would be interested to know what ails you.
MICK
19th May 2017
4:35pm
Boredom and the need to get a reaction..... I should talk!
niemakawa
19th May 2017
4:38pm
@ MICK, don't worry about it you can win them all. Boredom befalls us all at sometime but nothing about which to be concerned. Ask your wife!!
MICK
19th May 2017
5:23pm
Now that's hitting below the belt. Ha, ha, ha......
Janus
19th May 2017
3:49pm
And the answer to all of you is:
If you are over 40, then your chances of testicular cancer are slim indeed. So be more concerned about bowel, skin or prostate cancer.

However, if it feels good, keep going. My partner and I have an arrangement where we do each others checks. Think about it...
niemakawa
19th May 2017
3:50pm
I am.
MICK
19th May 2017
4:35pm
Enjoy your life and have a ball?


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