For Men: Watch that lump on your testicles

Are you one of those who hardly touch your balls? Well, if you are not used to playing with your balls, you have better start the habit now. You have to join the train of guys who never keeps their hands off their balls because you need to know what it feels like in case there is a strange bump or lump hanging around there.

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According to Dr Uche Okenyi, any abnormality on the testicle can be sign of a problem in the testicles. Almost all testicular lumps cause a noticeable swelling and changes in the texture of your testicle. Other symptoms vary, depending on the underlying cause of the lump:

What that lump, bump on your testicles mean

If your balls seem heavy—or if they feel like a bag of worms, this could actually signal varicoceles, which are enlarged veins in your testicles

A hydrocele is painless in infants, but it can cause a feeling of abdominal pressure in older boys and men. It also causes visible swelling of the testicles. Epididymal cysts are also generally painless. In some men, one testicle may feel heavier than normal.

An infection may cause pains, swelling, or tenderness in one or both of your testicles. It can also cause fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Also, a testis may suffer trauma or an injury which may lead to testicular torsion.

It can also mean hernia. Hernia occurs when part of your bowel pokes through the groin. This can cause your scrotum to become enlarged.

Lastly, a lump may mean there is a tumour or testicular cancer.  Only a doctor can determine if a lump is cancerous.

Here are the signs to watch out for:

  • a dull ache in your abdomen or groin
  • swelling or tenderness in your breasts
  • heaviness in your scrotum
  • a sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum
  • pain

Okenyi stated that, statistically, testicular cancer is one of the few cancer types that are common among younger men. He said that there are no reasons for it but years of research have shown that testicular cancer is common among younger men while prostate cancer is prevalent among older men, In fact, nearly half of all cases of testicular cancer occur in men of ages 20 to 34. Close to 80 per cent of such  strike before the age of 45, according to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).

On asking if testicular cancer can be linked with taking muscle building supplements, Dr. Uche Okenji affirms that there is a link. According to him, most of the muscle-building supplements produce hormones which are converted to testorones in the body. Sometimes, there are some ingredients that are not declared by the makers of these supplements lurking in there. When this becomes too much, it can create a problem for the body.

In another study conducted at the University of Yale, men who reported ever using over-the-counter muscle-building supplements—including   protein powders, and androstenedione—were 65 percent more likely to develop testicular cancer than those who never used them.

He also expressed the view that testicular cancer can affect the sperm count because sperm is produced in the scrotum and if anything goes wrong there, it will automatically affect sperm production.

How to handle that lump in your balls

The only way to know exactly what is wrong with your nuts is to visit your doctor and get an ultrasound, said Okenji.

Most testicular lumps can be diagnosed during physical examination. Meanwhile, your doctor may order further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

The tests may include:

  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create an image of your testicles, scrotum, and abdomen
  • A blood test in which a sample of your blood is tested for the presence of tumor cells, infections, or other signs of problems
  • An STI screening in which a sample of fluid is collected from your penis with a swab and analyzed in a laboratory for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
  • A biopsy, in which a small tissue sample is removed from your testicle with specialised equipment and sent to a laboratory for testing

The good news about its treatment is that, it can be cured and curbed on time if caught early. Treatment for testicular cancer is extremely effective Dr. Okenji disclosed.

How to keep the balls safe

Many men tend to protect their penis. By so doing, they tend to forget about the scrotum. What they don’t understand is that the nuts beneath the penis are the production factory of sperm and they need to be handled with tender, loving care (TLC).  So, if you crave for healthy sperm and vibrant sex life, learn to treat your balls with dignity and respect. Here are the ways  you can go about it.

1. KEEP THEM COOL

If you are an ardent user of laptop, please keep your balls far away from your laptop. A recent fertility and sterility study showed that a laptop on your laps may raise the temperature of your balls and damage the quality of your sperm.

2. Sleep well

According to Tobias Kohler, an Associate Professor of Urology at the Southern Illinois University, inadequate sleep can affect the quality of sperm. So, sleep well so that  you can produce healthy sperm.

3. The size matters too

A study revealed that older men with testicular volume of 20 milliliters or more risk suffering heart troubles. According to the study, blood vessel damage may up the size of the testes.

4. Get a safe snip
A vasectomy won’t cause ED, a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has shown. That means, unless you have sex within 72 hours,  the possible pain or bleeding could leave you limp.

5. Move your phone
Tons of studies have linked cell phone exposure to decreased sperm count and quality. So keep your phone in your back pocket instead of the front pocket.

6. Check out that spider veins

Dilated veins in your scrotum, which are similar to spider veins, may cause infertility and testicular shrinkage. In case you are in this scrotum rut, see your doctor for an appointment.

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