A testicular ultrasound is a diagnostic test that uses sound to produce images of the testicles and the surrounding tissues in your scrotum.
The two testicles are the primary male reproductive organs. They produce sperm and the male sex hormone testosterone. Your testicles are in your scrotum, which is the fleshy pouch of tissue that hangs under your penis.
Why do I need a testicular ultrasound?
A testicular ultrasound is the primary imaging method used to observe and diagnose abnormalities in the testicles. Your doctor may recommend a testicular ultrasound to:
- Evaluate a lump in your scrotum or testicles
- Determine the outcome of trauma to your scrotum
- Evaluate testicular torsion, which is a twisted testicle
- Identify sources of pain or swelling in your testicles
- Detect for and evaluate varicoceles, which are varicose spermatic veins
- Assess the causes of infertility
- Find the location of an undescended testicle
What are the risks involved with a testicular ultrasound?
A testicular ultrasound won’t put you at risk for any health problems. There’s no radiation exposure during the procedure. However, you may have increased pain or discomfort during the procedure if you have certain testicular issues, such as testicular torsion or an infection.
How do I prepare for a testicular ultrasound?
Typically, there’s no special preparation necessary for a testicular ultrasound. There’s no need for dietary restrictions, fasting, or a full bladder before the exam.
During the procedure
You’ll lie on your back with your legs spread. The ultrasound technologist may place a towel underneath your scrotum to keep it elevated. You’ll need to lie completely still during the procedure. Typically, a testicular ultrasound takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
The technologist will apply a warm, water-based gel to your testicles. This gel will allow the transducer to glide over your body. It also facilitates the conduction of the sound waves.
The technologist will glide the transducer around your scrotum, moving back and forth. You may feel pressure as the technologist pushes it firmly against your body. You may feel discomfort if there’s pressure on an area where you have tenderness.
After the procedure
After your testicular ultrasound, you can resume your normal activities and diet. No recovery time is necessary.