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Genital injury

Contents of this page:


Female reproductive anatomy
Female reproductive anatomy
Male reproductive anatomy
Male reproductive anatomy
Normal female anatomy
Normal female anatomy

Alternative Names    Return to top

Scrotal trauma; Straddle injury; Toilet seat injury

Definition    Return to top

A genital injury is an injury to the genitals or perineum, the area between the legs.

Considerations    Return to top

Genital injuries can be very painful and can bleed heavily. It can affect the reproductive organs as well as the bladder and urethra. The amount of damage can range from minimal to severe. Temporary as well as permanent damage can be done.

Young girls (usually less than 4 years of age) may insert foreign objects into the vagina as part of a developmentally-normal exploration of the body. These objects may include toilet tissue, crayons, beads, pins, or buttons.

To rule out sexual abuse, the young girl should be asked by the health care provider how the object got in her vagina.

In cases of rape or sexual abuse, a medical examination is necessary. It is essential for the victim's health as well as to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

In young boys, one of the most common causes of genital injury is having the seat slam down while they are using the toilet. Another common cause of genital injuries is having the feet slip while they are climbing or playing (such as on monkey bars) and landing with the legs on each side of the bar (straddle injury). Falling onto the crossbar of a bicycle is also a common cause of straddle injury to the genitals.

Another cause of genital trauma in young boys is entrapment of the scrotum, penis, or foreskin in a zipper. This may occur while the zipper is either opened or closed. The injury may be minimal or significant enough to require medical attention.

Causes    Return to top

Symptoms    Return to top

First Aid    Return to top

  1. Reassure the victim and try to keep them calm. As first aid is administered, be sensitive to the victim's privacy -- shield the injured area.
  2. To control bleeding, use direct pressure. Place a clean cloth or sterile dressing on any open wounds. If the vagina is bleeding severely, pack the area with sterile gauze or clean cloths unless a foreign body is suspected.
  3. Apply cold compresses to help reduce swelling.
  4. If the testicles have been injured, support them with a sling made from towels and applied like a diaper.
  5. If an object is embedded in a body opening or wound, leave it alone. Taking it out may cause further damage.
  6. Seek medical attention.

DO NOT    Return to top

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Prevention    Return to top

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

Update Date: 7/23/2007

Updated by: Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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