I have lumps in my testicles. I know I should tell a doctor, but I'm nervous about what will happen — will the doctor have to feel my testicles and will it hurt?
You should tell your doctor about any lumps or swelling in your testicles. He or she will have to examine your testicles and feel for the lumps — you may feel a little embarrassed, but it usually doesn't hurt.
Lumps in the testicles could be many things. Some are perfectly normal. For example, you may be feeling the epididymis, the tightly coiled tube where sperm are stored.
Other lumps may be signs of a problem, though. You may have a swelling of the veins in the scrotum. This is called a varicocele. Another thing that may cause a lump near the testicles is a hernia, which is when part of the intestine comes into the scrotum through a small space from the abdomen. In rare cases lumps may be a sign of testicular cancer, which is usually curable if it's diagnosed early (think of Lance Armstrong). Often, lumps don't turn out to be anything serious. That's why it's a good idea to see a doctor to set your mind at rest.
Your exam will probably start out like any other doctor's visit. Someone may weigh you, listen to your heartbeat, take your blood pressure, etc. When you meet with the doctor, he or she will examine your testicles. It may be embarrassing, and some guys get an erection during the exam. This is totally normal, and your doctor knows it isn't sexual, so don't worry.
Let the doctor know if any part of the exam hurts, since that can be a clue to what's causing the lumps. Your doctor will also be able to tell you the proper way to perform a testicular examination on yourself at home. That way you will know what to look for in the future.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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|How to Perform a Testicular Self-Examination The testicular self-examination (TSE) is an easy way for guys to check their own testicles to make sure there aren't any unusual lumps or bumps - which are usually the first sign of testicular cancer.|
|Male Reproductive System What makes up a guy's reproductive system and how does it develop? Can anything go wrong? Find the answers to these questions and more in this article.|
|Testicular Exams If you're a guy, you may be wondering why the doctor needs to do a testicular exam. Find out in this article.|
|Hernias A hernia is an opening or weakness in the wall of a muscle, tissue, or membrane that normally holds an organ in place. Learning to prevent hernias isn't hard to do - check out these tips.|
|Testicular Injuries Serious testicular injuries are relatively uncommon, but testicular injury can be painful. Read this to find out what steps you can take to protect yourself from injury.|
|Varicocele A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum. Although there is no way to prevent a varicocele, it usually needs no special treatment.|
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