Testicular Self-examination (TSE): What It’s and How to Do It

Men should examine their testicles monthly for any lumps or other changes. They should also do a self-examination of their testicles before starting any new medication or treatment.

A man will know his testicles by touch, but it can be difficult to find them in the groin area without looking.

 A man should pull back the skin of his scrotum and look for two round, oval-shaped organs that are about the size of large eggs. 

The left and right testicles are not always the same size, but they should be similar in size to one another.

A man may notice an increase in discomfort if he has a hernia or if he has been sitting in one position for too long.

What is Testicular Self-examination (TSE)

Testicular Self-examination (TSE) refers to the procedure which involves observing or assessing one’s testicles by the person so as to find out any abnormality such as nodules, inflammation and mass on the testes. The change in th size, shape and colour are detected via the examination. 

Examination of the scrotum can unveil some disorders such as hernia, hydrocele or tumour of the testicle. It’s therefore crucial that every male becomes conversant with TSE because it helps in early detection of testicular cancer. 

Testicular cancer remains the commonest cancer affecting men between the ages of 15 and 34 and can as well occur in men outside this age range.  

Conducting Testicular Self-examination (TSE) once a month greatly increases the chances of detecting a cancerous lump or mass early enough in order to seek effective treatment.

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Testicular cancer  like breast cancer is usually detected by the man himself as a firm, painless lump in the testicles. As early diagnosis is crucial in achieving successful treatment, men should endeavour to carry out testicular Self-examination once a month — looking for unusual changes in the appearance  and feel of the scrotum.

TSE should commence during adolescence so as to know what is normal for you and also make you confident in your examination.  The time is not difficult or time-consuming. The most convenient time to carry out the procedure is usually after a warm bath or shower when the scrotum is loose and more relaxed. You should use both hands during the examination.

Testicular Self-examination (TSE)

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Purposes of Testicular Self-examination

Specifically, it is carried out: 

  • To detect hydrocele, hernia, tumour of the testis
  • To inspect and palpate the penis for ulcerations, nodules, inflammation and discharge.
  • To become familiar with the normal weight , texture and consistency of your testicles.

Procedure for Testicular Self-examination

  • Select a day of the month and perform the examination on the same day each month.
  • Carry out the examination after a warm bath or shower as the scrotal tissue will be more nearly  relaxed and its contents are easiest to feel.
  • Locate the epididymis, which is the irregular cord-like structure on the top and at the back of the testicle that stores and transports sperm.
  • While standing, feel each testis between the thumb and the first two fingers of each hand.
  • Gently roll each testicle between your fingers and thumb to check that  the surface is smooth and free of lumps, hardness, or thickening, especially as compared with other other testicles.
  • Stand in front of the mirror and look for changes in size and shape of the scrotum.
  • Report any lump or abnormality to your doctor.
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We recommend that every Tofortians (male) should endeavour to perform testicular examination regularly and report to the doctor any abnormality discovered. This is because testicular cancer and prostate cancer can be detected earlier and prompt treatment can be given to save the man.