Genital Care 3/3 – Everything That Can Go Wrong With Your Sex Organs and When to Get Help

By: Rawan Khalil

So, in the two previous installments we talked about the normal things. How to take care of your genitals in general just to make sure you are not practicing any habits which are actually harming them, and we also talked about being familiar with your vaginal discharge. Now, this is a bit different because I am going to talk to you about the abnormals. The things that could go wrong with your vulva or penis and how to deal with them. I mean, let’s face it, so much could go wrong down there and you need to know how to act when such things happen. 

It would also be worth it to read more about these things in your own time as this is a brief overview. 

MALES

Torn/fractured penis 

So, during sexual intercourse or very vigorous and intense masturbation this could happen. You would hear a “pop” sound followed intense pain in your penis which would then probably be followed by swelling. The pain is because you have torn the tissue and if that happens you need to visit a physician as soon as possible because it’s very scary and it’s considered an emergency if it happens.

Swelling scrotum 

Around your testicles you may have a fluid called hydroceles, not all men have it but many do and it’s not a problem unless you have an inflammation or an infection which could be caused by an STI/STD. If you think you have a swollen scrotum you can shine a flashlight at it will appear like a water balloon. To treat that you will need antibiotics but you would need to consult your physician first.

A painful blue spot 

Otherwise known as appendix testis. This would appear as an appendage of normal tissue which would be located in the upper parts of your testis. 

If this happens to you it’s normal to feel scrotal swelling and eventually pain, and you would also see redness. If you feel that look at your testis and if you see a tiny blue dot under your skin (because it has no oxygen) this is because this appendage is basically dying tissue because this extra tissue cuts off the blood supply its getting. If that happens, you would need to get prescribed pain medication and be instructed to rest.

Blood in your semen

So, if you notice blood in your penis it’s probably not cancer but it might be an indication of a benign tumor and so you need to get checked pretty quickly. However, if you have blood in your urine you definitely need to speak up about that because it is definitely a good sign.

Your penis is red, itchy or burning 

This could mean a variety of different things.

1) A yeast infection.

Yes, men can get yeast infections too. If you are diabetic, or overweight or have had sexual intercourse with a person who has a yeast infection you may contract oe yourself. This is in particular possible if you are uncircumcised as yeast infection tend to develop in moist, dark areas and under your foreskin is a perfect example of that.

2) An STI or poor hygiene

If you have any of those in general you need to go to a doctor so s/he could help you treat it.

FEMALES 

Bumps 

Now, no one wants bumps on their vulva but it’s not exactly always something to mourn over and they could have multiple causes. It’s not always so worrying when you have a bump cause they are usually not permanent and benign.

So, what causes them?

1)  A break out

Yes, you could get acne on your vulva just like you get it anywhere else in your body, and it would look just the same. Please, fight the urge to squeeze the pus out of them because it would resolve itself in most cases if it doesn’t you may be prescribed an ointment. 

2) Ingrown hairs 

Hair removal techniques like waxing or epilation rip the hair from the root so it basically damages the follicles and so when the hair grows it’s thinner and so it’s more difficult for it to penetrate the skin resulting in *drumroll* ingrown hairs or inflammation of the follicles. This is particularly bad if you pick the bump as it could result in a bacterial infection which could spread. 

An alternative would be to use shaving cream as it would not really result in this problem, or you could just try to ensure that your shaving practices are hygienic and rinse your vulva with antibacterial lotion after shaving to prevent infection. Do not go and throw your money on very expensive shaving lotions which prevent ingrown hairs.

3) Warts 

These would be rough, small and skin-coloured. They are a type of STI and they normally do not cause any problems but it’s still worth checking with a physician to check if they were caused by HPV because then they could lead to cervical cancer. 

4) Sebaceous cysts

This would happen if your vagina is not getting as much air as it needs due to sweating and wearing constrictive underwear and this airless environment leads to Sebaceous cysts growing down there. To prevent that wear 100% cotton underwear, or maybe go commando at night. Just make sure you are making your vagina breathe.

5) Skin tags

Friction skin to skin or skin to clothes can result in skin tags forming which are flaps or bumps and they are completely harmless. You do not need to get them removed, but if they are annoying you it’s best to go to a dermatologist. Also, skin tags should alarm you if they start to grow or change in shape. 

6) An infected sweat gland

We all sweat. Sweating in your groin during exercise in your tight leggings or swimsuits, especially if they are not airy and you do not shower right after the exercise would result in sweat being trapped which blocks the sweat glands or could result in them getting infected. Making sure you shower and rinse your vagine and vulva after excericse would prevent them from getting infected and getting bumps, however, if it does happen it would probably heal on its own. But, if they are infected and they are painful then go visit a doctor. 

Bleeding- not on your period

If you bleed and it’s not your period it could be a hormonal imbalance especially if you are on contraceptives to regulate your period or for any other reasons and you missed a pill. However, if the spotting is continuing then you should tell a doctor as it could be a sign of an infection or an STD.

That’s a wrap.

Stay safe, 

Rawan x

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