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What Should I Do About Lumps in My Testicles?

I have lumps in my testicles. I know I should tell a doctor, but I'm nervous about what will happenwill the doctor have to feel my testicles and will it hurt?
Ruben*

You should tell your doctor about any lumps or swelling in your testicles. The doctor will check 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.

Lumps may be other things, though. A lump in the testicle could be a varicocele. This is a swelling of the veins in the scrotum. Another thing that may cause a lump near the testicles is a hernia. This is when part of the intestine comes into the scrotum. In rare cases, lumps may be a sign of testicular cancer, which is usually curable if it's diagnosed early. 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, they’ll 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.

It’s a good idea to check your testicles every month so you are familiar with their normal size and shape. This way if something changes, you will know it and can talk to your doctor about it. 

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: November 2020