A man’s testicles (also called the testes) secrete the hormone testosterone, which plays an essential role in a man’s sexual function and helps maintain masculine traits. The testes also produce and store sperm cells.
The testicles hang loosely in the scrotum. This location keeps them cooler than the rest of the body, which is important for sperm production. However, it also makes them more vulnerable to injury.
Men should take special care to protect their testicles from injury. Here are some suggestions:
- Wear a jockstrap or cup during sports. Fast-moving baseballs, footballs, hockey pucks, and similar types of equipment can cause painful, testicular trauma.
- Always wear a seat belt when riding in a car.
- Be cautious on a bike, motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or similar vehicle.
- Be extra careful when operating machinery.
It’s also important for men to regularly monitor the health of their testicles. A monthly testicular self-exam is easy to do:
- After taking a shower or bath, stand to examine your testicles.
- Check for any swelling in the scrotum.
- While holding the scrotum, gently feel each testicle with your fingers. (Some men may find that one testicle is a bit larger than the other. This is normal.)
- Take note of any lumps, pain, or unusual findings.
Your doctor can also show you how to conduct a testicular self-exam.
If you notice anything unusual during a self-exam, give your doctor a call so you can have the situation checked out.
If you think you have injured your testicle(s) or have pain, swelling, bruising, or bleeding, seek medical care immediately.
Urology Care Foundation
“What is Testicular Self-Examination?”
“What is Testicular Trauma?”
(Reviewed: January 24, 2018)