- Injuries to the female genital area (labia, vulva, vagina)
- Injuries to the male genital area (scrotum or penis)
Types of Genital Injuries
- Most are bruises (with swelling) or minor cuts that heal quickly in 3 to 4 days.
- Minor injuries can cause lots of bleeding because of the rich blood supply.
- An injury to the groin from falling on an object that is being straddled.
- Examples are playground equipment, crossbars of a bike, or a fence.
- Girls usually get a bruise or small cut of the outer labia. The vagina and urethra are protected by the labia and not harmed.
- In boys with a straddle injury, the urethra can be bruised or torn. The urethra allows urine to pass from the bladder to the outside.
- A symptom of a damaged urethra is blood at the penis opening. Other findings are bloody urine, trouble starting the stream or pain when passing urine.
When to call your doctor
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
- Major bleeding that can't be stopped
- Fainted or too weak to stand
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- You think your child has a serious injury
- Skin bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
- Bleeding from inside the vagina
- Pointed object was put in the vagina, then taken out
- Foreign body in the vagina and can’t get out
- Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
- Zipper caught (stuck) on penis now
- Swollen or painful scrotum
- Pain or trouble passing urine
- Blood in urine
- Pain is SEVERE and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
- Age less than 1 year old
- Could have been caused by sexual abuse
- You think your child needs to be seen urgently
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- You think your child needs to be seen, but not urgently
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- No tetanus shot in over 5 years for DIRTY cuts
- No tetanus shot in over 10 years for CLEAN cuts
- Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
- You have other questions or concerns
Parent Care at Home If
- Minor genital injury
CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR GENITAL INJURIES
- For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
- Note: Minor cuts in the genital area can bleed a lot. This is because of the rich blood supply.
- For the same reason, the cut heals quickly.
- Cut or Scrape Treatment:
- Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
- For any dirt, scrub gently with a wash cloth.
- Put on an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed. Use 2 times per day.
- Cold Pack:
- For bruises or swelling, put a cold wet washcloth on the skin.
- Use once for 20 minutes if tolerated.
- Reason: Helps reduce the bleeding and pain.
- Pain Medicine:
- To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.
- What to Expect:
- Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Passing urine becomes painful or hard to do
- Your child becomes worse
Author: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last reviewed: 9/1/2012
Last revised: 1/14/2013 12:09:37 PM