It is a good thing that I have not embarrassed myself by asking whether an orchidometer has anything to do with growing orchids.
Dr Teoh Eng Soon, one of Singapore's foremost experts on orchids and a gynaecologist - incidentally, he's from Penang - would have been so alarmed and chided me with a "No, no, no, no .... an orchidometer has nothing to do with orchids!"
So what is an orchidometer? According to Wikipedia, it's an instrument used to measure the volume of your balls. Not the ones that get kicked about in the football stadia but the ones hanging down between your legs. Yes, I mean your testicles.
I came across this word from a Bernama story which quoted Andrology Australia director Prof Rob McLachlan as saying that most men are unaware that testicle size is a measure of a man's bill of health. (But really ... I don't need him to tell me that testicle size is related to the ability to produce children. I knew that a long time ago. If you have no balls, how are you ever to have children, unless you are a woman?? Even then, unless you believe in virgin birth, you'll still need someone to assist you with that!)
Anyway, the good professor added that men don't know how big their testicles should be. They don't know what's normal or what's abnormal.
Right... as if we men go around to ask and compare with our fellow neighbours: "Hey, you got big balls, ah? Show me yours and I'll show you mine."
So, Prof Rob weighs in again. Small testicles can indicate a testosterone deficiency and that's no good. If you feel tired, lose muscle, gain fat or lose the sex drive, it may be due to that. And testosterone deficiency can also lead to osteoporosis.
Now comes the real serious part. Testosterone deficiency can also be a sign of infertility, with a higher risk of developing testicular cancer. But the bright side is, genital examinations by an endocrinologist are easy. And fast. It takes only about 30 seconds. (Basically, you'll have to show him yours, not the other way around.)
That's where the orchidometer comes into play (pun intended). This medical instrument consists of a string of 12 numbered wooden or plastic beads of increasing size from about 1 to 25 millilitres. Testicles measuring between 15ml and 35ml are in the normal range.
But how do you know that your testicles are within this range? Is there any rule-of-thumb method of determining this without going to the doctor in case you are the shy type? Easy again, according to the professor. "If a man's testicles are the size of a sultana (seedless raisin, he should see his doctor immediately. I've seen men coming in with the size of a sultana and they haven't realised it's a problem. It happens all the time," McLachlan said.
Okay, enough. I'm going to show you now what an orchidometer looks like. And don't ever tell me that it looks like a string of prayer beads....