Every man feels a little anxious before getting any kind of physical examination, so when it comes to getting a penile and testicular exam, most men are understandably nervous. But because it's so important for men to get these exams, because of the ways that these exams can catch dangerous medical conditions early on, it's important to learn the ins and outs of what to expect.
Even if you're nervous, it's vital that you go through with the exam. Here's a look at what you can expect.
Why Are Pelvic Exams Done?
A pelvic exam is a way for doctors, male and female, to inspect the genitals, anus, and rectum. It's a way to look for abnormalities, to check for signs of infections, to diagnose and treat problems. Pelvic exams can be gentle, quick procedures, and a lot of the time takes less than 20 minutes.
Doctors perform pelvic exams for a variety of reasons:
- To check for signs of sexually transmitted infections and diseases, which can be spread through sexual contact
- To check for abnormalities in the reproductive organs, like testicular cancer, which can spread through sexual contact
- To check for abnormalities in the urethra and the urinary tract
- To check for tumors in the prostate
- To check for enlarged prostates and enlarged lymph nodes
- To check for abnormalities in the uterus, including cysts and fibroids
Pelvic exams are also used for diagnostic purposes. For example, a doctor may perform a pelvic exam when a man is experiencing pain in his lower abdomen. This can help determine the cause of the pain and the best way to treat it.
What Conditions Will You Be Screened For?
While a penile and testicular exam can look at a variety of different health conditions, it has a specific purpose. Most doctors will be looking for any signs of testicular cancer, or for any conditions that could indicate that the testicles are being harmed by an infection, such as mumps or syphilis.
Doctors will also be looking for signs of cancer of the penis. Other conditions that can be detected include a hernia, which is a condition where an internal organ is pushing through a weakness in the body wall, and Peyronie's disease, a condition that causes the penis to bend due to scar tissue.
Doctors will also look for:
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
- STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
- Cancer of the penis
- Peyronie's disease
- Yeast Infections
- Bruises or Swelling
- Pearly Penile Papules
Preparing for a Pelvic Exam
It's important to prepare yourself in advance of the exam. The doctor will want to see your testicles and penis to be able to check for any abnormalities. But it's important to know that you will be required to get completely undressed. This includes removing your shoes and getting completely out of your pants.
You may be provided with a gown to wear, or the doctor or nurse may give you a sheet to put over yourself. However, it's important to understand that the doctor will be performing a thorough examination. This includes looking at your groin area, front, back, and sides.
The doctor will probably begin by introducing himself. It's important to remember that the doctor is there to help you, and that he's not there to judge you. The doctor will also explain what he's about to do, so you can know what to expect.
Dealing With Anxiety
Even though it's important to remember that it's a professional and necessary examination, it's still natural for you to feel anxious. In this case, it's important to try to remember the reason for the examination. You'll be able to feel better about it if you think about what could happen if you don't get the exam.
If you're worried that you might be embarrassed, try to remember that it's nothing to be embarrassed about. This is a common part of a man's health and it's important to be examined. If you're still worried, try to think about the fact that you're in a place where you can get the help you need, or that the doctor or nurse is there to help you.
The Testicular Exam
First, your doctor will give you an examination of your testicles, especially of the scrotum. He or she will check the size and shape of each testicle. The doctor will also check for any swelling or tenderness.
The doctor will also check for any sign of hernia, or any irregular shape to the testicles. This can include any swelling, and it's essential to note any changes in size. The doctor will palpate the testicles, which means that he or she will squeeze and touch the testicles gently. This will help the doctor feel for any irregular masses.
Your doctor will also check for any sign of tenderness, which can be an early sign of testicular cancer. This can include any pain, swelling, or lumps.
Although many men find this uncomfortable, it's important to note that the testicle exam is a vital part of the penile and testicular exam. It's also critical to note that this exam is necessary for men of all ages. Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 40, but it can affect men of all ages. Getting a testicular exam can be very uncomfortable, but it's also very critical.
The Penile Exam
Your doctor will also check your penis, including checking the foreskin, the scrotum, and the pubic area. He or she will also check for any sign of infection.
He or she will check for any sign of inflammation, swelling, or tenderness. They will also check for any redness, which can be a sign of an STD, STI, or an infection.
The doctor will check for any areas of the penis that may be red or sore, or that have developed any sores. He or she will also check for any discharge, which can be a sign of an STD, STI, or an infection. They will also check for any lumps and bumps, as well as any moles, cysts, or any other irregular spots on the skin.
The doctor will check for any signs of discharge or any other abnormalities. This is especially important for men who have recently been circumcised.
It might be embarrassing to get a penile and testicular exam, but it's very important, especially if you have any symptoms of an STD, STI, or an infection. If you do, it's important to see your doctor right away.
What Are Doctors Looking For in These Exams?
The main reason that doctors give these exams is to look for any problems or abnormalities in the genital area. This is important because these exams can help doctors catch conditions early on before they become serious.
Doctors are also looking for anything else that might point to a medical condition. For example, a doctor might be looking for redness, lesions, or other signs of infection. There are also certain questions that doctors ask about your medical history so that they can try to determine if there could be any dangerous medical conditions that they missed.
Some other things that doctors might look for include:
- Changes in the skin (such as redness, bumps, or lesions)
- Changes in the testicles, in terms of size, firmness, or in any lumps
- Changes in the penis, including redness, rash, lumps, or discharge
- Changes in the nipples, including pain or discharge
- Changes in the groin or abdominal area, including pain, redness, lumps, or discharge
- Pain in the testicles or penis
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty urinating
- Pelvic pain
- An STD or other sexually transmitted disease
Common Concerns For Male Penis and Testicle Exams
Do I Need To Be Erect?
No. The doctor is simply checking the health of your genitals, which includes the skin, the tissues, and the blood vessels. Therefore, it doesn't matter if you're erect or not.
What If I'm Uncircumcised?
Many men are uncircumcised. The doctor performing your penile and testicular exam will be able to examine you and make any necessary recommendations for you, even if you are uncircumcised.
What Happens When The Exam is Over?
After the exam, you'll have a chance to ask any questions you have, and you'll also have a chance to schedule any necessary follow-up appointments. Additionally, the doctor might have recommendations for home self-exams that you can perform on a regular basis, in order to make sure that you're staying healthy.
How Can I Perform an at Home Exam?
The doctor will tell you what to look for when you are performing your home exam. A lot of men will check their testicles for any abnormalities once a month.
At home exams are preformed by you, typically while showering.
You should check for abnormalities on their penis by pulling back the foreskin (if applicable) and looking for any strange bumps or sores. Then, you should check for any abnormalities in the testicle by lifting the testicle and looking underneath it. If you have a handheld mirror, you can use it to help you get a better look at the testicle and underside of the penis.
You should be checking for bumps, redness, swelling, sores, and discharge.
After you've finished the exam, you should call your doctor if you notice anything abnormal.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.