Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Penis injury, swelling or pain

5-minute read

What is penis injury, swelling or pain

While it is quite normal for the penis to swell with blood during sexual arousal to form an erection, the soft tissues in the structure of the penis can become swollen and painful because of an injury.

The foreskin and scrotum have very sensitive skin which can become swollen, inflamed and painful after an injury. More rarely, the shaft or head of the penis can appear swollen because of fluid tracking down from the abdomen due to gravity.

Blood at the tip of the penis or in the urine is a sign of a serious injury. If you are concerned about penis swelling or pain, see your doctor.

What injuries or conditions can cause a swollen penis?

Injuries to the penis can occur during sexual intercourse; or because of scratches and bites, knocks or burns; or because of internal injury caused by objects inserted into the urethra.

The penis can also be injured if a tight ring or stiff object is placed around the penis and blocks blood flow.

Sometimes contact with creams and lotions that cause a local allergic reaction can cause painful swelling.

Penile fracture

You can fracture your penis if too much force is put on it while it's erect, including during sex or when masturbating. You might hear a crack or a pop. As there is no bone in the penis, you can't have a broken penis the way you might have a broken leg. However, the soft tissue in the penis can tear, causing a bruised penis and pain. A fractured penis needs urgent surgery, preferably within 6 hours of the fracture.

Peyronie's disease

The penis can also become hard and swollen if you have Peyronie's disease. This condition can cause the penis to be painful, bent or less flexible. Peyronie's disease usually gets better on its own.

How do I look after myself?

If you have penis swelling, injury or pain, here's how you can look after yourself.

  • If there is any bleeding, apply direct pressure to the site for at least 10 minutes using your fingertips.
  • Do not try to remove any foreign body since this may cause more damage or serious bleeding. It is very important that a foreign body is removed only by a doctor.
  • If there is anything tight around the penis or scrotum, this should be removed immediately — as long as you can do so without injuring yourself.
  • An ice pack may relieve swelling but should not be placed directly against the skin. Try wrapping a bag of frozen peas in a cloth, such as a clean tea towel, and mould this around the swollen area.
  • Do not wrap anything around the penis or scrotum, including bandages, a tourniquet or sticky tape.
  • Do not apply any creams, lotions or homemade remedies to any wounds.
  • Any cuts or grazes can be temporarily covered with a clean, dry dressing or cotton handkerchief.
  • Loosely covering the area with clean cling film is a good alternative to a dressing and is especially useful if the area has been burnt.
  • If you are in pain, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on medicines you can take.
  • Protect the area as much as possible to prevent further damage or injury when going to see your doctor or to hospital.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse and masturbation until the pain settles.
  • Wear close-fitting underpants to give support to the painful area.

Do you think the injury was deliberate?

If you suspect a penis injury — either to yourself or to someone else — was inflicted on purpose, seek help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible. You could visit a doctor or hospital emergency department, or get help from a health visitor or school nurse.

If you are unsure whom to speak to, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria).

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2021


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Fractured penis | Healthy Male

A fractured penis can happen when there’s too much force on an erect penis. Because there are no bones in the penis, you can’t have a broken penis the way you can have a broken arm. However, an injury can cause the tissue inside the penis to rupture, resulting in a fracture.

Read more on Healthy Male - Andrology Australia website

Peyronie's disease - MyDr.com.au

Peyronie’s disease is condition where a band of scar tissue forms in the penis, causing a pronounced bend or curve in the penis when it is erect. Peyronie’s disease can affect a man’s sex life. 

Read more on myDr website

Peyronie's Disease - Bent Penis Causes & Treatment | Healthy Male

Peyronie’s disease (pay-roh-neez) is when tissue in the penis hardens permanently and a lump of scar tissue (a plaque) forms on the lining of the penis. This hardened area stops the penis from stretching normally during an erection, and can affect its size and shape when erect.

Read more on Healthy Male - Andrology Australia website

Priapism - MyDr.com.au

Priapism, a persistent erection not caused by sexual desire or stimulation,  is caused by problems with the nerves or blood vessels in the penis, which results in blood remaining trapped in the penis.

Read more on myDr website

Impotence causes - MyDr.com.au

Find out the physical and psychological causes of impotence, also called erectile dysfunction or ED.

Read more on myDr website

Impotence treatments - MyDr.com.au

If you have impotence (erectile dysfunction), the treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause of your impotence.

Read more on myDr website

Epididymitis - Better Health Channel

The epididymis is a series of small tubes that collects and stores sperm. It is attached to the back of each testicle. Epididymitis is inflammation of the epididymis, usually caused by an infection.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Delayed ejaculation - MyDr.com.au

Delayed ejaculation is when a man takes longer than desired to climax and ejaculate (release semen). Sometimes, ejaculation does not happen at all.

Read more on myDr website

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) | Healthy Male

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection you get or give during sexual activity. STIs can be caused by viruses (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus, herpes), bacteria (e.g., gonorrhea, syphilis), or parasites (e.g., pubic lice).

Read more on Healthy Male - Andrology Australia website

Varicocele - MyDr.com.au

A varicocele is a common cause of a lump in the scrotum. It is a collection of widened veins on the outside of a testicle that can affect fertility in some men. Many varicocoelse develop during puberty.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.