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
Let's start with some definitions.
You might have grown up calling it something else, but penis (say:
PEE-niss) is the official word for this part of a boy's body. The scrotum
(say: SKRO-tum) is the sac that hangs below and holds two small organs called testicles
The bones of your ribcage 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 bike
or playing sports. 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 protection.
The good news is that these injuries are not usually serious, though a boy will
usually feel pain and even could be nauseated
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 pain
relievers 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)
These are signs of a more serious injury, so seeing a doctor is a must.
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 (UTI) — 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 medical care.
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!