The testes are the male sex glands and are responsible for making the sperm and the male sex hormone known as testosterone. They are a pair of two egg-shaped glands located behind the penis in a skinny bag called the scrotum. Performing a routine self-examination of the testes is important to be aware of what it normally feels like and be able to detect any subtle abnormalities. Early detection of testicular abnormalities through testicular self-examination enables early treatment and better outcomes.
Table of Contents
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1. What is a testicular self-examination?
Testicular self-examination is an inspection of your testicles to look for appearance and feel. This is a simple lookup that you can do on your own in front of the mirror. Boys who are 15 and older may start with a monthly testicular self-exam schedule. The best time to perform a self-exam is when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed, probably after a warm bath or shower.
It is a very quick and simple activity that takes a few minutes of your time. This process helps to detect any abnormalities in the scrotum or testicles that may be missed otherwise. You need not be embarrassed about this. Many times, men are too uncomfortable telling anyone or even the doctor that something is wrong in that area. Testicular cancer symptoms often warrant an immediate visit to the urologist for early detection
Your testicles are just like any other part of your body and you need to be aware if they are normal and seek medical attention in case of any doubt. Some conditions may cause fluid collection, blood accumulation, infections, etc which may remain unattended and get complicated if not treated on time. These may be symptoms of any other testicular disease.
Testicular self-examination is an easy way for you to notice these changes and it cannot be emphasized enough that it is important to visit a urologist to make sure whether everything is okay. Not one reason has been on the list of testicular cancer causes, but many existing conditions exacerbate the possibility.
The urologist will perform a testicular examination to see if anything is abnormal and needs attention. Testicular cancer is relatively uncommon, but early detection through a testicular self-examination followed by a doctor’s diagnosis makes it very treatable. Symptoms suggestive of other testicular diseases also demand early detection and treatment to avoid complications.
2. Why is it done?
Testicular self-examination is important to notice pain, swelling, or lumps in the testicles or scrotum that might be part of testicular cancer symptoms. Testicular cancer is more common in men between the ages of 15 and 40. These cancers have a frequency of about 1 in 1 lakh men. They are relatively rare, but the treatment outcome is excellent when detected early. The testicular cancer causes are yet unknown, but many conditions are known to increase a man’s risks of getting it.
Apart from testicular cancer, a testicular self-examination is useful to spot other conditions such as varicocele, hydrocele, etc. These need to be diagnosed and confirmed by a urologist. It is important to schedule an appointment with your urologist if you find anything abnormal. Boys and men over the age of 15 may perform the self-examination. Dr. Vikram Batra, one of the best urology cancer specialists in Delhi can make the right diagnosis and proceed with the appropriate treatment.
Urologists recommend a testicular self-examination once every four weeks to detect changes that will help in an early diagnosis. Some conditions may mimic testicular cancer symptoms and only a urologist will be able to differentiate and decide on treatment.
Urologists recommend a monthly testicular self-examination if you carry any of the following risks as these may contribute to testicular cancer causes:
- Undescended testicle
- A history of infertility
- A family history of testicular cancer
- Past history of testicular tumor
- Previous testicular disease
3. How to perform testicular self-examination?
Among all of the above, pain is an important and concerning symptom and your urologist will be able to decide on the right testicular pain treatment
What is normal?
- It is normal to feel a cord-like structure behind your testicle. It is called the epididymis that carries and transports the sperm from the testes.
- One testicle may hang at a lower level than the other and that is okay
4. What to look for?
- A normal testicle should feel firm but not hard
- Observe and feel if there are any lumps, swelling, or hardness
- Look for any changes in size, shape, and texture
- Repeat the self-exam after four weeks to see if there are any new changes
- If you observe any lumps or other changes, visit the doctor as soon as possible.
The presence of other structures and blood vessels may make the results of the testicular self-examination confusing. It is important to consult your doctor if you note any changes or are unsure if something is normal.
5. When to consult a doctor?
You need to consult a doctor if:
- You cannot feel one or both testicles inside the scrotum. This is possible if the testes have not descended properly into the scrotum
- If you feel a bunch of tubes above the testicle
- Any pain or swelling that you feel inside the scrotum
- Sudden pain in the testicle for a few minutes maybe an emergency.
- Any history of injury to the genital area whether or not followed by pain or swelling
Dr. Vikram Shah Batra’s The urology clinic is a facility that is dedicated to providing specialized care for conditions of the urethra and the penis. Trained in the finest medical schools and some of the best hospitals, Dr. Vikram Batra is one of the best urologists in Delhi providing the most advanced urology treatment in Delhi.
From cancer care to reconstruction, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and robotic surgery, the clinic offers a host of specialized services. We make sure your needs are met on an individual level, by explaining things very clearly with compassion and understanding. Contact us now to schedule an appointment and start feeling better soon!