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Checking your testicles

It is a good idea to examine your testicles (testes) regularly, so that you become familiar with your own anatomy. Then you will be able to tell if anything unusual develops.

What is normal?

  • The testicles are oval in shape, and are usually about 4–5 cm long, 3 cm wide and 2 cm thick.
  • One testicle is often slightly larger than the other. This is usually normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that one testicle has enlarged you should ask your doctor to check it.
  • The left testicle usually hangs lower than the right one.
  • The epididymis is a sausage-shaped lump stuck onto the back and top of each testicle. It is actually a coil of tiny tubes, which carry and store the sperm. If uncoiled, they would be about 6 metres long.
  • The spermatic cords lead upwards from behind the epididymis. They carry the sperm towards the penis, and also contain blood vessels.
  • The scrotum is the skin sac that contains the testicles and the epididymis.

Anatomy of the testicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to examine your testicles

  • The best time is after a warm bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.
  • Support the scrotum and testicles in the palm of your hand to feel their weight. One testicle may be slightly larger than the other, but they should be about the same weight.
  • Hold a testicle between the thumb and fingers, with your thumb on top and first and second fingers underneath. Roll the testicle gently, feeling for any hard lumps. A normal testicle is oval in shape; it feels firm but not hard and is smooth with no lumps.
  • Feel the epididymis, a sausage-shaped lump at the top and back of each testicle. It will feel soft and perhaps slightly tender.
  • Feel the spermatic cords which lead upwards from the epididymis and behind the testicles. They are firm, smooth tubes.
  • Do the same with the other testicle.
     

 How to check your balls

It is important that all lumps or swellings within your scrotum, or on or alongside your testicle, are examined by a doctor, so if you find something get it checked.

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Tuesday, April 2nd 2013

 

For more information, Dr Phil Hammond discusses 'plums', 'peas' and varicocele in his Expert guide to scrotal lumps video below.

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Comments on this article

Posted by david on 11/09/2014 at 05:58

very useful information for me ,my left side testicles was paining & it was slightly lower than right testicles... this information helped me a lot

Posted by Optional on 10/09/2014 at 05:49

at the top of my left testicle I found something like small ball type...it slips when I try to hold. ..please help me out...I m worried about it..

Posted by Steve on 09/09/2014 at 11:04

Thanks for the medical advice. I find it useful.

Posted by Raziel on 09/09/2014 at 12:30

My left testicle is in pain. I have had this pain for 2 days now I feel uncomfortable talking to my 2 sister's or mum or dad about it. Tonight I been talking to my girlfriend about it she said its normal and she talked about how one females boob is begger than the other. But this site really helped me out.Thanks

Posted by Optional on 31/08/2014 at 09:19

I have noticed that I have a stringing sensation in my testis-scrotum daily in several time.I 've low libido and blood report showed low testosterone.Sex with wife is not regular.No issue after 5 yrs marriage.

Posted by Optional on 21/08/2014 at 01:10

when i felt my left testicle exatly in the middle i feel my finger touch as if it was split/rip and on the top front there like a crack line its mildly lancing also i never had any form of sexual act but 5 days ago i got hit with a hard rope to my testicles it had me on the floor for roughly 6mins

Posted by Optional on 19/08/2014 at 11:12

I have a scrotal hernia when I was young. It was operated when I was 11years. Can it affect my fertility?. Due to the operation, my left scrotum is not as big as the right scrotum

Posted by Optional on 18/08/2014 at 08:37

i found my right ball bigger than my left one is there anything to worrie about? :(

Posted by priyam on 18/08/2014 at 08:42

my left side testicle is 2-3 times bigger then right .it pain some times and i dont think its normal . is it symptoms of testicle cancer or natural?

Posted by Optional on 17/08/2014 at 05:46

My left testicle is firm at the bottom but as I go up it becomes squishy and it looks feels like two testis connected

Posted by chris on 28/07/2014 at 10:49

I need to know if this is normal..my testicles never hang hardly ever they always stay up in me even in very hot weather and when i get out of the shower. I had them checked one time by my dr and he said some people just do this. Im concerned because they didnt do this before until about 2 yrs ago. When my wife and I make love I cant produce sperm anymore hardly ever. I do have back problems and back pain from digenterive disc diease and was wondering if that would cause all my problems. I am very concerned and any help would be appreciated. Thanks

Posted by Chuckee on 08/06/2014 at 11:41

My left testicle is 5-7 times bigger than my left. It affecting my penis erection and my sperm count. I am so worried and scared it might lead to a major illness such as prostate cancer.

Posted by Optional on 27/01/2014 at 01:58

I have had the flu for three days and now i have an ache in my tight testicle.I had a vecestomy years ago are the lumps in my testicle my sperm tubes that have been sown should i get them checked

Posted by Optional on 17/01/2014 at 04:22

My left testicle is falling down. I've noticed it 3 weeks ago. Im not facing any pain or abnormality. Is there any problem? Or is it natural. And what are the causes of this? Thankyou..

Posted by Optional on 10/01/2014 at 10:03

Helo sir, My left testis is bigger(testis is lower) and i felt that there is boloon shape part is there..when ever i lying its not appearing its only appearing when i am standing..Give me the guidance for it. Because am scaring it will make big problem

Posted by Optional on 29/12/2013 at 02:42

Hello sir, I have problem for testicle is very small so how to solve this problem please tell me sir

Posted by Tristan on 03/12/2013 at 07:29

I got hit in th balls 2 times and that happened 2 or 3 says ago and I've just noticed when I went to to pee i felt my balls moving and they looked like they were breathing I'm not sure if that another sign of puberty of are they damaged from getting hit in the balls 2 times is this very bad i don't feel pain but it just doesn't seem right can you please answer my question I'm getting very nervous

Posted by Optional on 09/11/2013 at 11:00

My son who is ten said his testicals feel tight and sticky is this normal?

Posted by mike on 11/10/2013 at 08:15

Hi 1 of my testicle is use to move from the scrotum goes to the side of my penis and the other 1 stayz inside the scrotum usually it happens when I'm sitting down then I just wanna know that the is someting wrong because I never notice befor I notice after I heate wit the lock of the belt but hard pleaz help.

Posted by thanuja on 28/09/2013 at 02:17

thanks a lot,i solved my problem from this informatoin.keep it up

Posted by Optional on 03/08/2013 at 02:39

Wow really helped me

Posted by saint on 21/07/2013 at 07:08

my left side testicles is not in the normal position it's postion is much lower than the normal one and i feel lots of nerves which is really frustrating....i can't deal with it any more please help me.

Posted by thabang machaba on 15/07/2013 at 09:35

I have a testicle proble which took place 5days back,my righten resticles it swollen and its not on the normaly size it is big and hard and bigger to the other i would love to know if will go to a normal size?

Posted by Optional on 06/07/2013 at 12:15

I cummed and now I have pain at my left ball or at the side of it. Is there a solution for it?

Posted by ypr on 02/07/2013 at 03:23

i am facing problem for few months with my right testis it pains often.i feel right one heavy.while pressing the right one pain i feel pain in my stomach.please give me a solution

Posted by Questical on 23/06/2013 at 07:37

I have an annoying sensation in my right testicle. It is not pain, it's not really anything, other than an awareness, and slightly ticklish sensation. Nothing feels strange when I do the testicle-check... but, I simply notice this sensation within my right testicle. Does anyone else have this, or know what this is?

Posted by Optional on 23/06/2013 at 01:19

hello ive always been a self conscious but I have never had any issues but recently I have noticed my testicles get overheated very easily and they hang very low. they also move round a lot just doesn't seem right and im very worried I comstantly have to re arrange and im unsure about how to go about things any help will be greatly apreciated

Posted by jack on 25/05/2013 at 08:55

my ball sack has always been low but now is becoming a problem . sometimes I hurt it when I sit down. it bothers me when i roll over at night. do you have to be put to sleep to have them fixed . thanks.

Posted by Unknown on 30/04/2013 at 04:13

Hello prof..can i ask something? after i shower, i can see clearly my epididymis at the left testicle...can you explain that? need i see doctor?

Posted by Diar on 24/04/2013 at 12:01

Hiya thanks for this useful information. Very good keep it up I have one seriouse question which is when I have sex and erect cock for some reason I'm enjoying sex because I finish to quickly It doesn't last long !!!!!!! I need ur help please

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