Although there's no way to prevent a spermatocele, it's important for you to conduct scrotal self-exams at least monthly to detect changes in your scrotum, such as masses. Your doctor can instruct you in how to conduct a testicular self-examination, which can improve your chances of finding a mass.
How to examine your testicles
A good time to examine your testicles is after a warm bath or shower. The heat from the water relaxes your scrotum, making it easier for you to detect anything unusual. Then follow these steps:
- Stand in front of a mirror. Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top.
- Gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and the fingers. Remember that the testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and somewhat firm. It's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other is. Also, the cord leading upward from the top of the testicle (epididymis) is a normal part of the scrotum.
By regularly performing this exam, you'll become more familiar with your testicles and aware of any changes that might be of concern. If you find a lump, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Regular self-examination is an important health habit. But it can't substitute for a doctor's examination. Your doctor normally checks your testicles whenever you have a physical exam.
Feb. 15, 2012
- Spermatoceles. American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=117. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Brenner JS, et al. Causes of painless scrotal swelling in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Tiemestra JD, et al. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2008;78:1165.
- Wampler SM. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care Clinics Office Practice. 2010;37:613.
- Montgomery JS. The diagnosis and management of scrotal masses. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:235.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Jahnson S, et al. A randomized trial comparing 2 doses of polidocanol sclerotherapy for hydrocele or spermatocele. The Journal of Urology. 2011;186:1319.
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