Testicular Self Examination (TSE)


Testicular Self Examination (TSE) is an important yet simple technique that can help detect changes in the testes that may affect your health.  Finding these changes early can mean more successful treatment.

Abnormal lumps or swellings in the testes may sometimes indicate cancer. Testicular cancer, although rare, is the most common type of cancer found in men between 15 and 34 years of age. A history of undescended testes (the testicle not sitting down in the scrotum) is a known risk factor for developing testicular cancer. Testicular Self Examination is easy to do. It only takes a minute every month to check your testes.


The best time to perform TSE is during or just after a warm shower or warm bath. Fingers can glide over soapy or moist skin making it easy to concentrate on the texture underneath. The warmth causes the skin to relax making the examination easier.

Examine each testicle separately with both hands. Roll the testicle gently between the thumb and fingers – you shouldn’t feel any pain when doing the examination. Don’t panic if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other, that’s normal.


Using your thumb and fingers find the epididymis, the soft tubular structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. Cancerous lumps may be found on the sides of the testicle but can also occur on the front. Lumps on the epididymis are not usually anything to be worried about.

If you find a lump on your testicle see a doctor as soon as possible.The abnormality is very unlikely to be cancer; but if it is testicular cancer, it will spread if it is not treated. Waiting and hoping will not make it go away. When in doubt get it checked out.by a doctor.  

Some other signs that may be significant and need to be checked by a doctor  are:

  • change in size of a testicle(s)  
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Testicular or scrotal pain or discomfort
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement 

The TCRC Self Examination Page 


How to Perform a Testicular Self-Examination 


Testicular Self Examination pamphlet produced by Family Planning Victoria

This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Testicular Self Examination. It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.

Last Updated August 2012