Penile & Testicular Health: Why It’s Important?

April 13, 2022
Sexual Health

Why should you perform a testicular exam?

If you’ve been to a doctor for a physical - especially after you’ve hit puberty - you’ve most likely been asked to perform a testicular self-examination (TSE) consistently. But, why should you do it?

It's recommended and advised to do it at least once a month because changes in testicle shape, size, or feel could indicate testicular medical conditions such as an infection, a cyst, and rarely, a relatively uncommon type of cancer, testicular cancer. Although the cancer is considered to be highly treatable, a TSE hasn't been proven to prevent testicular cancer. Ideally, in this case, professionals will opt for "better safe than sorry" - a TSE increases your chances of noticing an abnormality quicker, which would further help in swift diagnosis and treatment. In some conditions, early detection is key to effective treatment.  

How to perform testicular self-examination?

Testicle self-examination or TSE can easily be done at home and takes less than 2 minutes. It can be vital in detecting any abnormalities such as lumps or unusual swelling/discoloration. It is likely more comfortable to perform a TSE after you’ve bathed. It should not be painful or cause any discomfort. Always start and finish with one testicle, before moving on to the second.

  • Use a small mirror or stand in front of a mirror: you should be able to see your scrotum area clearly. 
  • Roll the testicle gently using both hands’ fingers and thumbs 
  • Feel for any lumps, swellings, pain, or discomfort present under the scrotum where the epididymis is - it should feel “tube-like.”
  • Check for any changes in size, shape, or colour

How often should you perform a testicular exam? Once a month should be the strict minimum.

What do healthy testicles look like?

Various abnormalities can be spotted during a testicular examination - whether done at home or by a doctor. Your doctor may examine your testicles during routine medical examinations for this purpose. It’s also inherent that you become familiar with how your testicles - shape, and to feel - are on a normal basis - this will help you identify any abnormalities easily.

  • Both testicles should be firm and smooth
  • As you examine gently, you should not feel any pain or discomfort in your testicles and your scrotum. 

Keep in mind, that it is normal to have one testicle that is larger than the other and have one testicle hang lower than the other.

Penile and testicular health is important and should be prioritized. Learning how to effectively care for your physical health is something many lacks. However, the following are various ways that you can start to take care of your reproductive and sexual health.

5 ways to keep your testicles healthy

(1) Make hygiene a priority:

- Wash the head of the penis (glans) after gently pulling the foreskin back once a fortnight. Use warm water only and avoid using soaps or any chemicals.
- Keep the genital area dry ( i.e wash the sweat, wipe properly after a shower) to avoid bacteria build-up.

(2) Self/Professional testicle examinations:

There’s a reason professionals stress this point. There are medical conditions that can swiftly be treated, especially when detected early. Perform or get yourself examined by a professional at least once a month. 

(3) Protection during sex:

Sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) can be prevented by wearing a condom during any type of sexual activity.

(4) Maintain temperature:

You’ve heard this before, your testicles are sensitive to overheating. Try to avoid wearing tight clothing and/or briefs, using hot tubs often, or placing electronic devices on your lap. 

(5) Exercise moderately:

Maintaining your BMI is ideal for physical health. Aiding in testosterone and luteinizing (LH) production stimulation, working out, or exercising helps improve your testicular health. 

(6) Use caution with drugs:

Using performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, growth hormones, and/or testosterone injections on the advice of anyone isn’t advised. It is better to get medical advice on these drugs as they can cause harm.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personlised, discreet and judgement free treatment at your fingertips - book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.

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