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Injury to the Genitals - Genital Injury in Males

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

A genital injury in a male is an injury to the penis, testicles, or the structures within them. The injury may occur as a result of an accident, disease, trauma, or sexual assault.

What is going on in the body?

Since the male genitals are located outside of the body, they can easily be injured. Injuries can be mild, from a slight cut or accidental hit, to more severe trauma. The genitals are very sensitive to pain or injury because they have a large blood supply.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

A male may have a genital injury if he:

  • is crushed in a motor vehicle accident
  • falls and fractures his pelvis
  • falls onto something, such as a bar, with one leg on each side of the object
  • catches the skin of his penis in a zipper
  • falls on a pointed object
  • has the toilet seat fall onto his penis while urinating
  • has a high-pressured stream of water from a jet ski or water ski, water chutes, pool or jet spas shoot out directly at him
  • takes part in excessive and strenuous physical activity
  • has certain conditions that cause the blood supply to the testicle to be cut off
  • has a sexually transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia trachomatis. Sexually transmitted disease refers to any contagious disease transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact. In men, the infection normally involves the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. ',CAPTION,'Chlamydia Infection in Males');" onmouseout="return nd();">chlamydia, that causes scarring and damage to the genitals
  • has disease that involves the male genitalia, such as testicular cancer or cancer of the prostate

  • Symptoms & Signs

    What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

    Symptoms of a genital injury in males can include:

  • abdominal distress or pelvic pain
  • bruising
  • a collection of blood in one spot
  • bleeding
  • blood in the urine
  • genital pain
  • swelling
  • a wound on the genitals
  • painful urination, or inability to urinate
  • foul smelling discharge from penis
  • feeling faint
  • A male may have internal injury to the genitals without bleeding or pain.

    Diagnosis & Tests

    How is the condition diagnosed?

    A healthcare provider will ask questions about the genital injury and do a physical exam. Without a thorough exam, a healthcare provider may underestimate the extent and severity of the injury, especially in a person who is young, frightened, or uncooperative.

    Prevention & Expectations

    What can be done to prevent the condition?

    Sports safety guidelines for children, adolescents, and adults can be helpful in avoiding genital injuries. For example, a male can protect himself by wearing a jock strap and cup.

    What are the long-term effects of the condition?

    Long-term effects will vary depending on the cause of the genital injury. Some injuries, such as a cut or small bruise, may heal completely. Other injuries may cause recurrent infection if there was damage to the urinary system, scarring, or atrophy of the testes. If the penis was actually cut off and surgically reattached, the male may have decreased feeling or erectile dysfunction.

    What are the risks to others?

    A genital injury is not contagious. If the injury is caused by certain conditions, such as a sexually transmitted disease, these conditions may be passed to others.

    Treatment & Monitoring

    What are the treatments for the condition?

    Treatment depends on the severity and extent of the genital injuries. The male may need:

  • ice packs and pressure to be applied right away, and bed rest
  • large pools of blood to be drained
  • sutures for any cuts
  • surgery to repair any bladder, bowel, or rectal damage and to treat conditions such as testicular torsion
  • microsurgery if his penis needs to be reattached
  • antibiotics to treat or prevent infection
  • pain medication
  • a soft athletic support or jock strap to provide support and decrease the pain in the testicles
  • a urinary catheter if urine is blocked by swelling
  • psychotherapy if sexual assault occurred
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antibiotics can cause stomach upset, rash, allergic reaction, and other side effects. Surgery poses a risk of infection, bleeding, scarring, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Bed rest, ice packs, and antibiotics may be needed, depending on the extent of the genital injuries. The male should avoid sexual intercourse until the tissues have healed.

    How is the condition monitored?

    A healthcare provider should be called for any new or worsening symptoms. If sexual assault is involved, the provider should be contacted if the person has severe depression or suicidal thoughts.

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