Young Men's Healthyoungmenshealthsite.org (YMH) is a website produced by the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. The purpose of the website is to provide carefully researched health information to teenage boys and young men. It is to help teen boys improve their understanding of normal health and development, as well as of specific diseases and..
Thanks for your question. Masturbation is a normal and a natural way to learn about your body and what feels sexually satisfying. Generally, frequent masturbation isn’t harmful; however, your genitals may become sore. If this happens, it’s a good idea to cut back on the number of times that you masturbate in a day. If you experience any pain during or after masturbating, it’s important to talk with your health care provider.
Thank you for your question. There can be many possible reasons for pain involving one or both testicles. Since testicles are a very sensitive area of the body, even a minor injury can be very painful. Other possible reasons for pain may include: inflammation, swelling (the build-up of fluid), a urinary tract infection, a hernia, or a varicocele (which is where the veins of the testicles aren’t able to drain blood effectively, leading to large veins within the scrotum or ‘ball sack’). Another potentially very serious cause of pain is a condition called ‘testicular torsion,’ where a testicle becomes twisted on itself and begins to lose its blood flow — this typically results in sudden severe pain,often accompanied by nausea, fever, chills and possibly blood in urine (pee). This is a very serious condition that would require an immediate trip to the emergency room for treatment right away.
However, anytime you have even mild pain in your testicles that lasts longer than a few days or you notice a lump or swelling, you should consider making an appointment with your health care provider. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen may help relieve minor discomfort and wearing an athletic supporter such as a jockstrap, or cup may help too.
Thank you for your question! It is perfectly normal not to have a circumcised penis. All boys are born with foreskin that covers the tip of their penis. Circumcision doesn’t happen naturally. It is actually a procedure in which the foreskin (the skin covering the tip of the penis) is removed. In the United States it is usually done soon after a baby boy is born; however, it depends on cultural and religious beliefs and is far less common in other parts of the world.
While most circumcisions occur as the result of parental preference, there are some medical reasons that require circumcisions for treatment purposes. One example is ‘phimosis,’ which is a condition where the foreskin becomes too tight to be retracted behind the tip of the penis, which can cause problems with painful erections or hygiene issues. For individuals who develop a medical reason for a circumcision or would just prefer to become circumcised later in life, we recommend bringing up the question with your healthcare provider, who can then make a referral to a urologist, which is a surgeon who specializes in surgeries involving the genitals and urinary tract.
Thanks for your question! Studies have show that the average adult penis size is between 5 and 6 inches when fully erect, as measured from the lowest portion of the stomach; just above the base of the penis, to the tip of the penis. It’s important to understand that the size of a guy’s penis is determined by genetic traits that he inherits from his parents̶̶̶ just like your height, eye color, and skin tone. Most guys are fully developed between the ages of 18-21 so the size of your penis is completely normal.
Thank you for your question! It can definitely be very frustrating if you have an odor coming from your genital area that doesn’t seem to go away even with good hygiene. Most odors are the natural result of sweating, and since your groin is covered with clothing and doesn’t have the best air circulation, the area tends to stay very warm and can become moist as well. Unfortunately, warm and moist areas can sometimes provide an ideal environment for growth of different organisms such as fungus and bacteria, which can lead to development of different odors and even skin rash. But you don’t have to shave your pubic hair or use deodorant or creams down there to stop the odor! In fact, the best way to stay clean is to take daily showers or baths using warm water and soap, making sure to wash in between the folds or creases of your skin and pubic hair, and completely drying the area before putting on clean, breathable underwear. We highly recommend that you use lightweight cotton briefs or boxer-briefs, instead of underwear made of thicker material, to allow for improved air circulation. Some people will benefit from using a body powder such as Gold Bond® or an antifungal powder such as Nystatin, which can help to keep the groin region dry and prevent the growth of fungus in the area (Nystatin has to be prescribed by your health care provider). Guys who are not circumcised need to remember to wash the area beneath their foreskin by gently pulling it back every time they shower or bathe. If you are very active, play sports, or sweat a lot, you may need to take a second shower after gym class or when you get home from school or practice. In rare cases, an odor can also be caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI), so if you are sexually active, it’s a good idea to check in with your health care provider to make sure you don’t have an STI. If you do, there is treatment available.
It is completely normal to have wet dreams every day. Other guys have them a couple of times a week or just once in a while or not at all. This is all part of being a guy and going through puberty, when your body goes from being a child to an adult.
With time, wet dreams usually get less frequent and eventually stop all together. If you feel uncomfortable that this is happening, talk to your health care provider or a trusted adult.
Thank you for your question. It is hard to answer your specific questions not knowing all the details. However, it is normal to be scared whenever you don’t know what to expect, especially if you’re having a surgical procedure. Even though circumcision is considered to be a safe and simple procedure, some males can develop scarring. Scarring is more common after a teen or adult male becomes circumcised rather than after an infant gets circumcised. Scarring can prevent the foreskin from retracting (being able to pull it back) which can lead to infections. Very rarely, males can develop certain type of scars, “keloid” scars, which are more serious, but this almost never happens on the penis.
Surgery to remove scars caused from circumcision is typically done if the scars are causing a problem. Before you have any type of surgery, it’s very important to have all of your questions answered including why you should have the surgery done in the first place, what are the benefits (what will improve) after the surgery, as well as what the possible complications might be. Reach out to your surgeon and ask to talk to them as soon as possible. It is your right to be completely informed before you receive any care including all medical procedures and operations.
Many boys learn to pee while sitting and continue to do so as teens and adults even when urinals are an option. It can be a cultural preference or just what is more comfortable for you. There seems to be a shift towards sitting instead of standing for cleanliness (avoiding urine spills on the floor), comfort (urinals may not be the right height for all guys) and privacy; however, either way is fine. According to research, there are no health benefits to standing rather than sitting, unless you have trouble emptying your bladder in which case your health care provider may recommend sitting while you pee.
Thanks for your question. It is difficult to know if your girlfriend could be pregnant or whether she is having “serious” stomach issues due to a complication of anal sex or something else. If you are using condoms every time you and she have intercourse and never have vaginal penetration, it is unlikely that she is pregnant; however, the vagina and anus are located very close together and without a condom, even a little semen (fluid containing sperm) can find is way inside your partner’s vagina and ultimately to an egg and cause pregnancy. The other fact you should be aware of: although very rare, anal penetration can puncture a hole in the “recipient’s” colon (the person who is receiving penetration by a penis, finger, or sex toy). The symptoms usually start after anal sex and include abdominal pain and heavy bleeding from the rectum. This is an emergency situation and requires immediate medical care, usually a trip to an emergency department. With that being said, your partner’s “stomach pains” may be caused from something entirely different such as a viral or bacterial infection, constipation, or food intolerance. It’s a good idea for her to be checked by her health care provider (HCP) so she can get treated if needed. It’s important to be honest with the HCP. Remember, what she or you tell to the HCP is confidential.
Anal sex for the most part is safe if you follow these guidelines:
Use a water-based lubricant– A person’s anus doesn’t naturally make lubrication like the vagina.
Always use condoms– Condoms help to protect you and your partner from STIs and bacterial infections that can be caused from contact with poop. Since bacteria naturally live in poop and the rectal lining is very thin, a tear can sometimes happen and bacteria can enter the skin and cause an infection.
Change condoms when going from anal to vaginal sex– This will lessen the chance of your partner getting a vaginal infection and/or irritation from the bacteria in the poop.
Use condoms but do not use additional spermicide creams/gels during anal sex, as these products can cause the recipient to have anal irritation.
Enter your partner slowly and STOP if your partner complains of pain or discomfort– The anus has a muscle that is there to hold poop in. Therefore, the muscle can be tight, making penetration painful. Anal penetration can be pleasurable, but it isn’t always comfortable for the receiver.
Check in with your partner and make sure they are not in pain and want to continue, as anal sex isn’t for everyone.
Although more and more people are having anal sex, it is still considered one of the riskiest forms of sexual activity. As long as you and your partner both agree to having anal sex, and you practice “safe anal sex”, and follow the guidelines above, you should be okay.
Thank you for your question. Many guys wonder about this, so you are not alone. The good news is there are no health risks to ejaculating in your underwear. The downside is your underwear will feel wet for a while, and then it will likely feel a bit stiff (like a starched shirt) when it dries. The stain and stiffness comes out when you wash them. Many guys find it easier and more comfortable to use a towel when they masturbate but ejaculating in your underwear is fine too.