I would like to take a few moments to discuss with you the testicle self-examination. In this article, I will discuss the purpose of testicle self-exam and the technique that I recommend that you use to examine your testicles on a regular basis.
Now, why is the testicle self-exam performed? The routine testicle self-exam significantly increases your risk of the identifying testicular cancer early when it’s relatively easy to treat. The purpose of a testicular self-exam is to inspect the feel and appearance of your testicles. It is done by yourself in privacy, usually after a shower, and you cannot identify testicular problems, specifically testicular cancer, but it also needs to be checked by a doctor if you identify a lump or bump in the testicle. The testicle self-exam is equivalent to the breast self-exam as performed by women on a monthly basis.
There is no special preparation necessary for performing the testicle self-exam. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men beginning after puberty perform the testicle self-exam on a monthly basis.
How to perform the testicle self-exam? First of all by inspection in a mirror and look for any swelling within the testicle. Use both hands and use the middle and index fingers under the testicles and the thumb on the top and you easy rotate the testes between the index finger and the thumb below, and you can identify any lumps or bumps within the testicle. The normal testicle has about the consistency of the base of the palm of your hand; if you feel something hard like your knuckle – that is an abnormality that should come to the attention of your physician. So if you feel any hard lumps or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicle, you want to contact your physician or your urologist.
Your doctor upon examination may order a blood test, and he may order an imaging study such as a scrotal ultrasound, which will help to determine if there is a suggestion of a testicle cancer.
So what’s my take home message or the bottom line: any unusual signs and symptoms don’t necessarily mean that you have testicular cancer. It needs to be checked by your physician. Testicular cancer is the easiest to treat when it is detected early, and it is confined to the testicle and hasn’t spread to other tissues or other organs. Even if your signs and symptoms are caused by something other than testicular cancer, you may still need treatment.
Now let’s discuss the proper collection of the semen analysis. I’m going to discuss the purpose of the semen analysis, the collection techniques, and how you will receive the results of this study.
The purpose of a semen analysis is to evaluate the sperm count, the movement of the sperm, and the shape of the sperm, all of which are necessary and important in order to be able to achieve a normal pregnancy.
What collection techniques are used for the semen analysis? You will be asked to abstain from sexual intimacy either ejaculation by intercourse or masturbation for two days prior to the semen analysis. However, I would like to caution you not to abstain more than five days before the collection. You will collect the specimen by masturbation into a sterile collection cup that will be given to you in the office and then you will bring it to the laboratory within two hours of the time of ejaculation. I recommend that you carry the specimen cup at body temperature and avoid extremes of either hot or cold, which can affect the reading of the semen analysis. Do not touch the inside of the container because that can cause contamination and again will alter the reading of the semen test. I will ask you to place a label on the container and write your first name your last name, the date, and time of the collection, and also include the name of your partner’s obstetrician so that I might send that doctor a copy of the semen analysis. You will be asked to collect two specimens separated by 48 hours. After you have collected the second specimen, please call the office to discuss the report.