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How to do a testicular self-exam (TSE)
Get to know the normal size, shape, and weight of your testicles. This will help you notice any changes over time. It is normal for 1 testicle to be lower or slightly larger than the other. Healthcare providers advise that men do the exam during or right after taking a shower. This is because your scrotal skin is softer and more relaxed at this time. This makes it easier to feel any changes.
Follow these steps to do a self-exam:
- Using both hands, gently roll each testicle between your fingers.
- Find the epididymis. This is a string-like structure on the top and back of each testicle. This is a normal part of the testicles.
- Feel for lumps deep under the skin, in the front or along the sides or back of either testicle. A lump may feel like a rock or a small, hard pea.
Have your healthcare provider check any swellings or lumps you find. Changes in the testicles can have causes other than cancer. But it is important to see your healthcare provider if you are unsure about anything you see or feel.
Also ask your healthcare provider about testicular exams during your regular checkups. Most healthcare providers agree that examining a man's testicles should also be part of regular physical exams. The healthcare provider may be able to find any lumps you missed.