A testicular ultrasound, also known as a scrotal ultrasound, is a non-invasive imaging exam that uses high-frequency sound waves to assess the testicles and scrotum. The scan also provides information about the epididymis (tubes by the testicles that collect sperm), vas deferens, and surrounding tissues in the genital area.
Reasons for a Testicular Ultrasound
Your doctor may order a testicular ultrasound to get information about the health of your testicles, scrotum, and genital region. Typically, this exam is used to investigate symptoms such as pain, swelling, asymmetry, or trauma.
Information gathered from this ultrasound can help investigate:
- Testicular torsion – twisting of the spermatic cord
- A mass in the testicles, such as a cyst or lump
- An undescended or absent testicle
- Fluid in the epididymis or scrotum
What Happens During My Testicular Ultrasound?
- You may be asked to change into a gown for your imaging.
- Alternatively, the sonographer may ask you to remove your clothing from the waist down and lie on a table. Folded towels will be used to cover the penis and elevate the scrotum so ultrasound gel can be applied.
- The sonographer will apply a warm, hypoallergenic ultrasound gel and move the transducer (probe) around your scrotal region, gathering images of your testicles and scrotum.
- The sonographer will apply moderate pressure with the probe, which may be momentarily uncomfortable but should not cause pain.
- Please inform your sonographer of any discomfort.
- After the sonographer has captured the images, you are free to leave.
- A radiologist will review the images and send a detailed report to your doctor, usually within one business day.
During a testicular ultrasound, you will be on a bed, usually on your back, with your legs closed.
If you have an Alberta Health Care card or valid health care card from out of province, there is no cost for a testicular ultrasound (except in Quebec).
A testicular ultrasound scan lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Being prepared for your testicular ultrasound helps us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to testicular ultrasound.