If you experience pain when you ejaculate, or if it takes you too long to ejaculate, your primary doctor may order a scrotal or testicular ultrasound scan to see if you have blockages in your testes. The scrotal ultrasound is an advanced imaging technique used to locate abnormal cells, tumors or injuries in the testes, or male reproductive organs. Your testes contain different tissues that may prevent you from ejaculating properly, including the lobules and tubules. If the tubes become twisted, crushed or bruised from wearing tight clothing or from experiencing an injury in the groin, you may have trouble passing semen out of your body. If you're concerned about your testicular ultrasound, speak to your physician immediately. Until you do, here are answers to two questions you may have about the scan.

Will the Scrotal Ultrasound Hurt?

The transducer used to do the scrotal ultrasound doesn't hurt or irritate the skin on your scrotum, but the ultrasound gel used during the test may feel cold on your skin, especially if your scrotum is swollen. Your ultrasound specialist needs to apply the gel on your scrotum in order for the transducer to transmit unique sound waves from the ultrasound machine to your testes. Your body temperature usually warms up the gel within a few minutes after application.

If you still feel uncomfortable about the gel's cool temperature because of your swollen scrotum, ask the ultrasound technician to use a gel-warmer prior to your appointment. It may help you relax during the ultrasound test.

Will the Doctor Need to Make an Incision in Your Scrotum?

Unless you need to undergo a biopsy to confirm a suspected diagnosis, your ultrasound technician won't make any incisions in your scrotum during the scrotal ultrasound. Instead, the technician will most likely isolate your scrotum from the your pelvis with a coverlet. He or she may even use a special tape to lift up the scrotum. The ultrasound machine's transducer will have a clear view of your testicles if your technician uses any of the above methods.

Additionally, you may experience some discomfort when the technician separates the testes for the scan. You can do a few things prior to your ultrasound to alleviate some of the swelling in your scrotum and to make the scan easier on you. For instance, you may want to:

  • Avoid wearing tight underwear and opt for boxers instead. The boxers will help reduce pressure on your scrotum when you walk or sit down.
  • Refrain from any intimate contact. Any attempts to ejaculate may increase the swelling in your testes by pushing the blockages further into the tubules.
  • Go to sleep early each night before your appointment. Getting enough rest at night may help relax you during your scrotal ultrasound.

If you experience pain in your testes without ejaculating, contact your doctor right away. There may be another problem, such as an infection in your testes, that requires immediate treatment.

Your scrotal ultrasound will most likely take about an hour or two to complete. You can contact an imaging facility such as Hudson Valley Imaging for more information about this and any other questions you may have.