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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

You will describe your symptoms. Your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, surgical history and sexual activity. He or she then will examine you, including your genital area.

You may need one or more of the following tests:

  • Urinalysis. A chemical analysis of urine.

  • Urine cultures. These determine whether bacteria are present in the urine, indicating a possible UTI.

  • Laboratory tests. Of fluid taken from inside the urethra or of discharge from the penis.

  • Blood tests. To check for signs of infection, including STDs.

Symptoms may be so severe that the doctor must test to see if you have testicular torsion. This is a sudden, painful twisting of the testicle that cuts off the testicle's blood supply.

You may need an ultrasound. This is a painless test that uses sound waves. In this case, it measures blood flow in the testicles.

Radionuclide scanning is another test you may need. In this test, a small amount of a radioactive isotope is injected into your blood. If the isotope collects near the testicle, it may indicate testicular torsion.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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