Christmas Sale Now On!
🎁View our festive offers here 🎁

🎁 Christmas Sale Now On! View our festive offers here 🎁

BLACK FRIDAY – Up to 50% Off Tests, Refills & Supplements

Here's how to self-examine your testicles

Testicle examination is an inspection of the appearance and sensation of your testicles. It is very easy to self-examine your testicles; it can be done typically standing in front of a mirror and only takes a minute.

Why should you self-examine your testicles?

Regular self-exams help you learn how your testicles normally look and feel, which makes it more likely that you’ll notice any changes.

The most important reason to self-examine your testicles is early detection of lumps – which could be cancer – but other benign (non-threatening) findings like a varicocele (1) or hydrocele (2) could also be found. The latter conditions are not dangerous but they can affect semen quality. Varicocele alone is estimated to account for more than 10% of male infertility.

We therefore highly recommend that you examine your testicles every month and make sure to seek medical attention if you feel anything unusual.

How to self-examine your testicles?

The genital area is very sensitive so the examination has to be done gently and slowly. It helps to have the testicles “hanging loose”, which can be achieved by performing this during a hot shower.

The testicles have to be examined one at a time and this is how you should do it:

1. Examine the testicle gently:

Do this by rolling the testicle between the thumb and forefinger. You should look for and evaluate the following:

  • Size (Almost equal size? It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other)
  • Surface (regular and smooth?)
  • Shape (round and egg-like?)
  • Texture (soft and bouncy / elastic?)

Look for lumps

2. Look for lumps:

When you palpate (examine with your hands) the testicle, the sack it lays in, and the epididymis (tube), search for any extra tissue-like lumps or soft fillings. Remember that lumps or bumps may be painless.

diagram of testicles

3. Find and evaluate the epididymis:

This is the soft tube-like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for an abnormal mass. This tube should feel similar on each side. If it is thick or painful to touch you may need a second opinion. A varicocele, for example, is a small hard bump on the veins carrying blood to the testicles.

What to do if you find something?

If you notice something unusual or suspicious that concerns you, make an appointment with your doctor. Depending on the circumstances, your doctor might do a testicular exam followed by a blood test or an ultrasound, if necessary.

Be aware and contact your doctor in case of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Painless lump
  • Change in testicle size
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum, testicles or epididymis
  • Sense of pressure or pain in the lower abdomen or groin

Systemic symptoms:

  • Significant unintended weight loss
  • Severe tiredness
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the groins
  • Back and/or abdominal pain

(1: Varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the loose bag of skin that holds the testicles. 2: Hydrocele is a type of swelling in the scrotum that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath surrounding a testicle.)

ExSeed sperm test

Learn more about our device

More to explore


Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.