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Are You Sick?

Penis Injury

Is this your symptom?

  • Injuries to the male genital area (scrotum or penis)

Key Points

  • Injuries to the male genitals (penis, scrotum) are not common. Clothing and the location of the genitals usually protect them from injury.
  • Injury can rarely occur during vigorous sex or masturbation.
  • The need for treatment depends on the type of injury.


The most common injury is a direct blow to the male genital area. Most often this happens from being hit by a ball or getting kicked in the genital area. Severe pain occurs right away. The pain can be so bad it makes a person sick or even vomit. Usually this type of injury is not serious. The pain will go away in 10 to 30 minutes. Pain lasting longer than one hour is a sign that there may be a more worrisome injury.

Injuries to the skin of the penis and scrotum are not common.

  • Bite Injury: An animal or human bite can cause a bruise, cut, or scratch.
  • Bruise: It is caused by a direct blow to the skin. Bruises are tender to touch. The bruised skin may first look red, then purple, and finally orange-yellow. A doctor exam is recommended if there is visible bruising.
  • Cut - Shallow: Shallow cuts (scratches) only go part way through the skin. They rarely become infected. A scratch is an injury to the skin from a sharp edge. For example, a scratch can be caused by fingernails. A shallow cut or scratch can usually be treated at home.
  • Cut - Deep: Deep cuts (lacerations) go through the skin. Stitches are usually needed.
  • Zipper Injury: The skin of the penis may become caught in a pants zipper. Emergency care is usually needed. Local anesthesia (numbing medicine) and special tools are required to remove the zipper safely.

More serious injuries include:

  • Testicular hematoma or rupture
  • Testicular torsion
  • Fractured penis
  • Urethral tear

When to Call for Penis Injury

Call 911 Now

  • Major bleeding (nonstop bleeding or spurting)
  • You think you have a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Mild pain in penis, scrotum, or testicle lasts more than 1 day
  • Blood in semen
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Last tetanus shot was more than 10 years ago, for CLEAN cut or scrape
  • Last tetanus shot was more than 5 years ago, for DIRTY cut or scrape

Self Care at Home

  • Minor scrape
  • Direct blow to area (such as a baseball, kicked, bicycle straddle injury)

Care Advice

  1. What You Should Know:
    • A direct blow to the penis and testicles can cause severe pain.
    • In most cases the pain will get better in 10-30 minutes with rest. Usually there is no long-term damage.
    • If the pain lasts longer than one hour, you need to be seen.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Treatment of a Direct Blow to Genital Area:
    • Put a cold pack on the area for 10 minutes. Here is how to make your own cold pack. Put some ice in a plastic bag. Wrap the plastic bag in a towel.
    • Lay down and rest.
  3. Treatment of a Minor Scrape (Abrasion):
    • Wash the scrape with soap and water for 5 minutes. Gently scrub out any dirt with a washcloth.
    • Put on an antibiotic ointment.
  4. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Moderate or severe pain lasts more than 1 hour
    • Mild pain lasts more than 1 day
    • Any swelling or visible bruising of penis or scrotum
    • Trouble passing urine or there is blood in the urine
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 9/23/2019 1:00:29 AM
Last Updated: 3/14/2019 1:00:26 AM

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