What are some common penis injuries?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
The following are common penis injuries:
  • Cuts Sure, the most notorious penile injury is no doubt the complete severing of the organ, as made infamous by Lorena Bobbitt. But a far more common injury can occur when a guy accidentally catches his penis in his pants zipper, a la There's Something About Mary. Painful? Yes, but such a cut is usually minor and heals relatively quickly, though a man should refrain from sex and may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection in the meantime.
  • Bruises Anything that involves blunt force trauma to the genitals in can injure and bruise a man's penis and scrotum. The most common cause is a kick or knee to the groin, either in a fight or accidentally during sports. If he does get bruised, an icepack and rest will usually help him heal. Most guys are all too familiar with that nauseous feeling that comes after getting kicked in the genitals. But if he has worsening pain or swelling, or the nausea continues for more than an hour or so, he should get prompt medical attention, since testicles can get ruptured.
  • Fractures When women worry about hurting a man's penis, this is usually their big fear. So can you really "break" a penis? Well, sort of. What we call a "fracture" is actually a tear in one of the tube-like structures in the penis that hold blood during an erection. It typically occurs during intercourse, when your pelvic bone bumps his erect penis too hard and his erection gets bent accidentally (you're on top of him and come down too vigorously, for example). In addition to severe pain, his penis may curve abnormally and he may have difficulty urinating or having intercourse. He may also have significant swelling of the penis and dark, reddish-purple discoloration as the blood fills the space underneath the skin. If the outer skin breaks also, he could have a considerable amount of bleeding. Our advice: Be careful! If you do suspect a fracture, get him to the emergency room immediately; surgery is often necessary to prevent permanent problems.
  • Chafing Anything that causes rubbing against the skin of the penis can result in rawness and irritation. Vigorous masturbation without lube, going commando in pants with rough material, or rug/sheet burns can all result in chafing. Avoiding friction on the area usually allows things to clear up in a day or two.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.