AUA Summit - How to Perform a Testicular Self-Examination?


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What is Testicular Self-Examination?

A testicular self-exam is when you check your testicles for any changes or abnormalities. It is of great value to know what feels normal, so that you are able to notice any changes when they occur. Changes do not always mean cancer. But, if cancer does grow in the testicles, and you catch it early, you have the best chance for a cure.

When To Perform Self-Exam

  • Boys can start doing self-exams during their teens
  • Do a self-exam each month – it only takes a few minutes
  • Do the exam right after a hot bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is most relaxed and the testes can be felt easily

How to Perform Self-Exam

  • Do the exam while standing
  • Look for swelling in the scrotum
  • Gently feel the scrotal sac to find a testicle
  • Check each testicle one at a time by firmly and gently rolling it between the thumb and fingers of both hands to feel the whole surface


  • It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other
  • It is normal to feel a cord-like structure (called the epididymis) on the top and back of each testicle

Check with your health care provider:

  • If you find a small, hard lump (pea size)
  • If there is swelling, pain or soreness
  • If you see or feel any other changes

Updated March 2024. 

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