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Testicular self-examination

  • 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)