The best time to do the self-exam is during or after a bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed. To do a testicular self-exam:
- Hold your penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time.
- Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
- Look and feel for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape or consistency of the testes.
- You should know that each normal testis has an epididymis, which feels like a small “bump” on the upper or middle outer side of the testis. Normal testicles also contain blood vessels, supporting tissues, and tubes that conduct sperm.
- Other non-cancerous problems, such as hydroceles and varicoceles, can sometimes cause swellings or lumps around a testicle. It’s easy to confuse these with cancer. If you have any doubts, see a doctor.
Cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, racket ball, running, swimming and tennis has been associated with decreased prevalence of erectile dysfunction. While bicycle riding is a form of cardiovascular exercise, it is associated with an increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction. The primary problem with bicycle riding is the bicycle saddle. While the rider is bearing his weight on the narrow bicycle saddle or its protruding nose, the compressive forces push the contents of Alcock’s canal against the bony surface of the pelvic bone, stopping blood flow to the genital organs and causing numbness and tingling in the penis and scrotum.
Chronic compressive forces can cause focal endothelial dysfunction leading to focal atherosclerosis and narrowing of the artery. The reduction in perfusion pressure in this artery leads to erectile dysfunction. In addition, bicycles designed for males often have a bicycle bar or top tube onto which boys and men can crush their perineum.
Ultimately, men must make their own decisions about the risks and benefits of bicycle riding. Before they begin to ride, however, they should be aware of the need for a properly fitting bicycle and comfortable saddle as well as the potential risks to sexual health presented by long-distance cycling.
Finally, supervising children and providing them with properly fitting bicycles and seats, just as we do with protective helmets, is also essential to avoid injury and preserve sexual functioning.