Site Map

Genital injury

Scrotal trauma; Straddle injury; Toilet seat injury

A genital injury is an injury to male or female sex organs, mainly those outside the body. It also refers to injury in the area between the legs, called the perineum.

Images

Female reproductive anatomy
Male reproductive anatomy
Normal female anatomy

I Would Like to Learn About:

Considerations

Injury to the genitals can be very painful. It may cause a lot of bleeding. Such injury can affect the reproductive organs and the bladder and urethra.

Damage may be temporary or permanent.

Causes

Genital injury can occur in both women and young girls. It may be caused by placing items into the vagina. Young girls (most often less than 4 years of age) may do this during normal exploration of the body. Objects used may include toilet tissue, crayons, beads, pins, or buttons.

It is important to rule out sexual abuse, rape, and assault. The health care provider should ask the girl how the object was placed there.

In men and young boys, common causes of genital injury include:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

First Aid

Keep the person calm. Be sensitive to privacy. Cover the injured area while giving first aid.

Control bleeding by using direct pressure. Place a clean cloth or sterile dressing on any open wounds. If the vagina is bleeding severely, put sterile gauze or clean cloths on the area, unless a foreign body is suspected.

Apply cold compresses to help reduce swelling.

If the testicles have been injured, support them with a sling made from towels. Place them on a padded cloth, such as a diaper.

If there is an object stuck in a body opening or wound, leave it alone and seek medical attention. Taking it out may cause more damage.

Do Not

DO NOT try to remove an object by yourself. Seek medical help right away.

Never volunteer your thoughts on how you think the injury happened. If you think the injury was the result of assault or abuse, DO NOT let the person change clothes or take a bath or shower. Seek medical help right away.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

A straddle injury is damage to the testicle or urinary tract. Get medical help right away if there is:

Seek medical help right away if there is a genital injury and:

Prevention

Teach safety to young children and create a safe environment for them. Also, keep small objects out of the reach of toddlers.

Related Information

Sexual violence

References

Faris A, Yi Y. Trauma to the genitourinary tract. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2021. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021;chap 1126-1130.

Shewakramani SN. Genitourinary system. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 40.

Taylor JM, Smith TG, Coburn M. Urologic surgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 74.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 10/14/2020  

Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider
06/01/2025

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.