Should Your Child See a Doctor?

Genital Injury - Male

This Care Guide Covers

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

Health Information

Types of Genital Injuries in Males

  • The penis and scrotum are exposed. In young boys, the scrotum is injured more often than the penis. All the common skin injuries can occur here.
  • Cut. Minor cuts or scrapes heal quickly.
  • Bruise. Minor bruises heal quickly.
  • Zipper Injury. The foreskin or skin on the penis can get caught on a zipper. Most parents will want a doctor to help with removal.
  • Urethral Injury (Serious). The urethra passes through the entire penis. It can be injured by a kick to the groin or a straddle injury. The urethra can be bruised or torn. The main symptoms are bloody urine and trouble passing urine.
  • Painful Scrotum. A blow to the testicle will normally cause severe pain. If there was no damage, the pain should go away within 30 minutes. If it persists, the boy needs to be examined.
  • Swollen Scrotum (Serious). Any boy with a swollen scrotum from an injury needs to be examined. It may be minor, but need to rule out any other problems.
  • Hematoma (Blood Clot) of Scrotum. Blunt trauma can cause a large blood clot to form inside the scrotum. Sometimes, it needs to be drained. This can happen from being hit by a ball during sports. The main finding is severe pain and a swollen scrotum.
  • Rupture of Testicle (Serious). A direct blow to the scrotum can also cause a tear of the capsule around the testicle. To save the testicle, this needs emergency surgery. This can happen from a kick to the groin. The main finding is severe pain and a swollen scrotum.

Straddle Injuries

  • An injury to the groin from falling on an object that is being straddled.
  • Examples are playground equipment, crossbars of a bike, or a fence.
  • In boys with a straddle injury, the urethra can be bruised or torn. The urethra allows urine to pass from the bladder to the outside.
  • A symptom of a damaged urethra is blood at the penis opening. Other findings are bloody urine, trouble starting the stream or pain when passing urine.

First Aid for Bleeding

  • Put a gauze pad or clean cloth on top of the wound.
  • Press down firmly on the place that is bleeding.
  • This is called direct pressure. It is the best way to stop bleeding.
  • Keep using pressure until the bleeding stops.
  • If bleeding does not stop, press on a slightly different spot.

When To Call Your Doctor

Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If

 
  • Major bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Fainted or too weak to stand

Go to ER Now If

 
  • Large deep cut that will need many stitches
  • Skin bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Zipper caught (stuck) on penis now

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
  • Swollen or painful scrotum
  • Pain or trouble passing urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Age less than 1 year old
  • Could have been caused by sexual abuse
  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours If

  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent.

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • Dirty cut and no tetanus shot in over 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in over 10 years
  • Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Parent Care at Home If

  • Minor genital injury

Care Advice for Minor Genital Injuries

  1. Bleeding - How to Stop:
    • For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
    • Note: Minor cuts in the genital area can bleed a lot. This is because of the rich blood supply.
    • For the same reason, the cut heals quickly.
  2. Cut or Scrape Treatment:
    • Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
    • For any dirt, scrub gently with a wash cloth.
    • Put on an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin). No prescription is needed. Use 2 times per day.
  3. Cold PackCloth for Bruise:
    • For bruises or swelling, put a cold wet washcloth on the skin.
    • Use once for 20 minutes, but only if tolerated.
    • Reason: Helps reduce the bleeding and pain.
  4. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed. See Dose Tables.
  5. What to Expect:
    • Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.
  6. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Pain becomes severe
    • Passing urine becomes painful or hard to do
    • Your child becomes worse

Remember! Contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "When to Call" symptoms.

Disclaimer

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Author: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.

Copyright 1994-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.