Is there an alternative to the ‘cough and drop’ test?
What is the reason behind the doctor giving a cough and drop? I know it involves getting your testicles out to be checked, but wonder if there's an alternative or less embarrassing method?
To have a physical testicle examination can feel embarrassing, but be assured that a doctor does physical examinations routinely, you will only be examined if necessary and that you are in control and can stop the examination at any time.
If you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with it, have a think about your reasons for why you feel that way and let your doctor know about them as they are there to help you. The doctor should be able to explain the reasons for the examination and what to expect and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
It might help to understand more about the ‘cough and drop’ test and why doctors use it. It is a standard way to check the health of your testicles. By asking you to cough while cupping your testicles, the doctor is checking for the possibility of a hernia – a lump which can occur from a weakness in the wall of the abdomen which pushes through to your scrotum. Hernias are rare in young men and if caught early can be fixed with a small operation. They’re also checking for problems with your variocele – the veins in your testicles.
Cough and drop also used to be used to check your testicles have correctly ‘dropped’ into place, but is rarely used now. Your balls descend into place from inside your body when you’re a baby.
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