What to Expect During a Penis Exam
A penis exam is typically performed during regularly scheduled physicals, but it's important to know that this exam goes beyond just the penis. Your doctor will check the penis, groin, testicles, rectum and possibly the prostate gland for any signs of concern.
Most medical experts recommend that men ages 18 to 49 get a physical to check on their overall health somewhere in the range of every two to five years. Physical examinations should become an annual appointment once a man reaches age 50.
During the male penis exam, your doctor will be able to screen you for signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), a hernia, penile cancer and more. So while it may not be the appointment you look forward to most, you may want to reconsider before skipping it.
When should you get a penis exam?
While penile exams are usually included in regularly scheduled physicals, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor sooner if you notice anything out of the ordinary down there.
Experts recommend that men perform monthly self-exams of their genitals to keep an eye out for any signs of underlying health issues. It's best to perform this self-exam in the shower or an area where you have plenty of light and privacy. First: relax. Then, use your fingers and thumb to gently feel both testicles to check for any lumps, abnormal patches of skin or hard tissue.
After you've performed a testicular exam, it's onto the penis and scrotum. You should gently feel the surface of the shaft of your penis to check for any lesions and lightly squeeze to check for hard tissue, lumps or sore spots.
Go ahead and schedule an appointment with your doctor or nurse if you find anything out of the ordinary. If the self-exam went smoothly and everything looked and felt normal, then you can wait for your next regularly scheduled physical.
However, even if everything seems normal during a self-exam, you still need to attend your regular doctor penis exam because your medical provider will provide a more extensive exam to ensure your overall health.
What should you expect from a penis exam?
When you get to the doctor's office, a nurse will give you a hospital gown to change into before your doctor comes into the exam room. Before the genital exam begins, your doctor should tell you what they are about to do step by step.
Typically, your doctor will ask you to stand up, and then with a gloved hand, they will check your groin, penis and testicles for any lumps, abnormal tissue, lesions or tender spots. Your doctor will also check your penis for any abnormal discharge or signs of infection.
During the doctor penis exam, it's important to relax. Don't worry—it should take only a couple of minutes. This is a good time to let your doctor know if you've been experiencing any pain, sexual dysfunction or anything else of concern with your genital area.
Remember, there's no reason to be embarrassed. It's quite important to tell your doctor these details to ensure that your symptoms are not the result of any serious underlying conditions.
Your doctor may recommend additional testing if you have been experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED). One potential test for ED involves an injection of a chemical into the shaft of your penis to trigger an erection. This test allows your doctor to examine the erection to determine how strong it is and how long it lasts.
Determining the cause of ED is important because it can sometimes be caused by heart problems such as cardiovascular disease.
Getting your genitals examined as part of your regular preventive health checkup is an essential part of maintaining your overall health. This exam can help your doctor detect any potential problems early and help you avoid future complications.