How can I check my testicles?

My left testicle is more sensitive than my right one, and feels as though it has a jelly-like substance in it, how do I check if there's something seriously wrong?

It sounds like the jelly-like substance you describe could be the epididymis (a long coiled-up tube that carries the sperm away from the testicle). It’s possible that it’s just easier to feel it on your left testicle. You could try feeling gently behind your right testicle again to see if you can locate it there. If that’s what it is then it’s perfectly normal.

It’s important to check your testicles each month so you get used to what they look and feel like. For example, it’s natural for one testicle to feel slightly larger than the other.

When you check your testicles, you’re checking for lumps which might indicate testicular cancer. Though this cancer is rare in young men, if caught early can be treated easily with a good chance of recovery.

Once a month, preferably after a bath or shower, do the following:

  • Check for any swelling of the skin.
  • Examine each testicle with both hands, placing the index and middle fingers under the testicle with thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently to look for problems. During this process you should feel no pain.
  • You’re looking for pain and lumps – lumps are usually found on the side of the testicle, but can also be found on the front. Lumps on the epididymis are not cancerous.

Other signs of testicular cancer can include: an enlargement or significant loss of size in one testicle, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, a sudden collection of fluid or pain in the scrotum, or an enlargement or tenderness in the pectoral area.

If you are concerned about something you find then you should contact doctor (GP) as soon as possible for a proper check-up. Don’t just be concerned about lumps; if anything bothers you it’s best to be sure. Take a look at our article about testicles too.


Next Steps

  • You can visit NHS Choices for more information. You can get quick advice when it's not an emergency on 111.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.


cancer| testicles