You see it in movies all the time. Some guy gets hit right in
the privates. Yow! If you're a boy, you probably already know
your penis and scrotum are sensitive. Why? And more important, what
do you do if you're having pain or another problem "down
there"? Let's start with some definitions.
You might have grown up calling it something else, but
-niss) is the official word for this part of a boy's body. The
scrotum is the sac that hangs below and holds two small organs
The bones of your rib cage protect your heart and lungs. Muscles
protect other internal organs, like your liver and kidneys. But
unless you count your underwear, there's no protection for a
boy's penis or scrotum. This area also has a lot of nerve
endings - which make it extra-sensitive - so if a soccer ball
accidentally whams into a boy in that spot, it really hurts.
Unfortunately, there are lots of ways for a boy to hurt his
penis or scrotum. It can happen while he's riding his
. It can happen if someone bumps or kicks a boy there. Some sports
require boys to wear athletic cups to protect that part of the
body, but most of the time boys don't wear this kind of
The good news is that these injuries are not usually serious,
though a boy will usually feel pain and even could be
for a while. The testicles are loosely attached to the body and are
made of a spongy material, so they're able to absorb most
collisions without permanent damage. Minor injuries don't
usually cause long-term problems. But it's a good idea to tell
a parent if you get this kind of injury, just in case.
If it's a minor injury, the pain should slowly go away in
less than an hour. Meanwhile, your mom or dad could give you some
ice to apply and some
to take. You also could lie down and take it easy for a while.
Sometimes, the injury might be more serious. Make sure you tell
a parent so you can see a doctor if:
- the pain is really bad
- the pain doesn't go away in an hour
- the scrotum is bruised, swollen (puffy), or punctured (has a
hole in it)
- if the nausea and
- if you get a fever
These are signs of a more serious injury, so seeing a doctor is
Other Trouble Down There
It's also possible a boy might have pain in his scrotum or
testicles, even if he didn't get injured or bumped. In that
case, it could be an infection or other problem, so it's
important that the boy tell his mom or dad.
Another kind of problem - a
urinary tract infection
- can cause burning when a boy pees. Rashes and other infections
can make a boy feel itchy or cause pain in the private zone. The
bottom line is that a parent needs to know so the boy can get
What if a Boy Is Too Embarrassed?
Lots of boys don't like the idea of telling anyone about a
problem with their penis, testicles, or scrotum. The good news is
that a boy doesn't have to tell everyone - like his whole
class! He just needs to tell his mom, dad, or another adult who can
get him to the doctor, if needed.
It might be a little embarrassing, but if the problem isn't
treated, it could get much worse and be really uncomfortable. We
know one boy who found a tick on his scrotum. Good thing he told
his mom and she could remove it. That was one rude tick!
Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: May 2008
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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