Puberty Sex information - Teenage Boys




Check your testicles (balls)

What the.......?
image of typical boyYou need to know your testicles are developing properly.

Definitions

Testicles
"Balls" that hang inside a skin sack underneath a male's penis.
Scrotum
The skin bag that holds the testicles
Cancer
Abnormal growth of cells usually forming a lump

Normal testicles

Become familiar with the look, feel and shape of your testicles - this will help you notice anything wrong.

The characteristics of healthy testicles include: (59)

  • Each testicle feels like a smooth, firm egg.
  • One testicle tends to hang lower than the other.
  • One testicle may be slightly larger than the other.
  • There is no pain or discomfort when the testicles and scrotum are handled gently.
  • The testicles and scrotum will be pulled up close to your body when they are cold. They will be hanging down loose when hot. This is handled automatically to keep the testicles at the right temperature.

How to check your testicles

image of typical boy
Once a month, check each testicle by gently rolling it between your thumb and one or two fingers. Perform this check after a warm shower or bath when the scrotum skin is soft and the testicles are down further from the body.

You need to get to know what your testicles feel like and what is normal for you!

Testicle size

orchidometer image Use this Orchidometer chart to check that your testicles are growing like they should - the chart is only a rough guide. Open and preferably print the chart. With a ruler, make sure the '1 inch' measurement on the screen or print is actually 1 inch (2.54 cm) long in real life to ensure that the sizes shown are correct.

In a warm environment, pull the scrotum skin lightly so you can better see your testicle size from the side. Compare your testicle size with the chart. If your testicle size does not roughly correspond to your stage of puberty, you had better see a doctor!

The cancer problem

  • The lifetime risk of a male developing testicular (testicle) cancer is 1 in 316!
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer experienced by men aged 15-35 years.
  • Men outside this age group can still develop this cancer, the only difference is that it is not the most common cancer for that age range.
  • The cause of testicular cancer is unknown.
  • The rate of this cancer is rising.

What to look for

Lumps (usually on the front or side of the testicle), swelling, discomfort, change in size and shape (other than normal teenage growth of the testicles), a sensation of heaviness in the testicles.

If you have a problem, it is important to realize that you may have only some of the symptoms listed here and not all of them.

Injury

Only another guy understands what it feels like to have the testicles hit by something - even lightly. The pain and discomfort is beyond words and goes right up through the whole body. If the pain does not go away after a reasonable period of time or new lumps or swelling appears, better to get a doctor to check it out.

What to do if you think there might be a problem

image of typical boyImmediately swallow your pride and get medical advice. A doctor will examine your testicles and advise you if there is a problem. If testicular cancer is detected early in its development, then the cure rate is almost 100%! If there is a problem, the longer you leave it to go to the doctor, the less chance of total recovery.

The fears you need to overcome to go to the doctor are: the fear of the unknown; the fear of having to expose your private parts; the fear of having an erection when the doctor is examining you; fear of the consequences if cancer is diagnosed; fear of death; fear of what others will think.

Further Information

More details on how to examine your testicles.

This link has an in-depth medical discussion on testicular cancer.

This link has an in-depth medical description of the testicles and how they operate.

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