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Genital injury

  • Definition

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


    Alternative Names

    Scrotal trauma; Straddle injury; Toilet seat injury


    Considerations

    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
    • Foreign body placed in the vagina
    • Assault
    • Rape
    • Sexual abuse
    • Zipper injury
    • Trauma