Saturday, October 25, 2014

Testicular self-examination

Table of Contents

Definition

Testicular self-examination is an examination of the testicles. The testicles (also called the testes) are the male reproductive organs that produce sperm and the hormone testosterone. They are located in the scrotum under the penis.


How the test is performed

Perform this test during or after a shower. This way, the scrotal skin is warm and relaxed. It's best to do the test while standing.

  1. Gently feel your scrotal sac to locate a testicle.
  2. Hold the testicle with one hand while firmly but gently rolling the fingers of the other hand over the testicle to examine the entire surface.
  3. Repeat the procedure with the other testicle.

How to prepare for the test


How the test will feel


Why the test is performed

A testicular self-exam is done to check for testicular cancer. Normal testicles contain blood vessels and other structures that can make the exam confusing. Performing a self-exam monthly allows you to become familiar with your normal anatomy. Then if you notice any changes from the previous exam, you'll know to contact your doctor.

You should perform a testicular self-exam every month if you have or have had any of the following risk factors:

  1. Family history of testicular cancer
  2. Previous testicular tumor
  3. Undescended testicle
  4. Are a teenager or young adult (to about 35 years old)


Review Date: 09/22/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)