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injuries can occur fairly easily since the
scrotum and penis are not protected by bones. Genital
problems and injuries most commonly occur during:
A genital injury often causes severe pain that usually goes
away quickly without causing permanent damage. Home treatment is usually all
that is needed for minor problems or injuries. Pain, swelling, bruising, or
rashes that are present with other symptoms may be a cause for concern.
Infections can occur in any area of the
Rashes in the groin area have
many causes, such as ringworm or yeast. Most rashes
can be treated at home.
A rash may be the first symptom of a
sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you may have
been exposed to an STI, do not have sexual contact or activity until you have
been evaluated by your doctor. This will reduce the risk of spreading a
possible infection to your sex partner. Your sex partner may also need to be
evaluated and treated.
Male genital problems may be related to whether or not the
penis is circumcised. For more information, see
Little boys may play with
toys or other objects near their penis and accidentally cause an injury.
Anything wrapped around the penis or an object in the penis needs immediate
evaluation to avoid problems.
If you use a urinary catheter to
drain your bladder, your doctor will give you instructions on when to call to
report problems. Be sure to follow the instructions your doctor gave
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you
should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind
of care you may need. These include:
Based on your answers, you need
or other emergency services now.
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The
problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and
illness. Some examples in adults are:
Urinary symptoms may include:
Symptoms of infection may
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be
able to take care of this problem at home.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Pain in adults and older children
Home treatment measures can help
relieve pain, swelling, and bruising and promote healing after a genital
injury. These home treatment measures also may be helpful for noninjury
problems. But if you think you may have a more severe injury, use first
aid measures while you arrange for an evaluation by your doctor.
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Home treatment measures may also be helpful for:
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
The following prevention measures may help
you reduce your risk of problems in the genital area. If you find a lump,
growth, or other change in the genital area, check your symptoms to determine if and when you need to see your doctor.
You may want to do a
testicular self-exam once a month. The best time to do
the exam is after a warm bath or shower when the scrotal skin is
Male teens, young men, and men who have had
undescended testicles or a family history of
testicular cancer have an increased risk for
developing testicular cancer.
If you are concerned about an
undescended testicle in your baby, talk to your baby's doctor.
take measures to reduce your risk of becoming infected with a
sexually transmitted infection (STI). You can also
reduce the risk of transmitting an STI to your sex partner. Know
high-risk behaviors and the
symptoms of STIs.
activity until you are prepared both physically and emotionally to have sex.
Nearly two-thirds of all STIs occur in people younger than 25 years old.
teenagers are at high risk for STIs because they
frequently have unprotected sex and have multiple partners. Biological changes
during the teen years also may increase the risk of getting an STI.
Preventing a sexually transmitted
infection (STI) is easier than treating an infection once it occurs.
Condoms can be used not only to prevent
pregnancy but also to help protect against
sexually transmitted infections. Use a condom during
vaginal, oral, or anal sex with a new partner until you are certain that he or
she does not have any sexually transmitted infections, including human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
A male condom is placed over a man's erect penis before sex. Condoms are also called "rubbers," "sheaths," or "skins."
The female condom is a tube of soft plastic (polyurethane) that has a closed end. Each end has a ring or rim. The ring at the closed end is inserted deep into the woman's vagina over the cervix, like a diaphragm, to hold the tube in place. The ring at the open end remains outside the opening of the vagina.
In a long-term, single-partner (monogamous) relationship,
partners may choose to quit using condoms to prevent STIs. But using some
form of birth control is important to prevent an unintended pregnancy.
Steps to prevent
jock itch (fungal infection of the skin in the groin) or
yeast infection (cutaneous candidiasis) include the
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the
Current as of:
October 17, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& David Messenger, MD
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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