You see it in movies all the time. Some guy gets hit right in the privates. Yow! If you're a boy, you probably already know your penis and scrotum are sensitive. Why? And more important, what do you do if you're having pain or another problem "down there"? Let's start with some definitions. You might have grown up calling it something else, but penis (say: PEE-niss) is the official word for this part of a boy's body. The scrotum (say: SKRO-tum) is the sac that hangs below and holds two small organs called testicles (say: TESS-tih-kulz). The bones of your ribcage protect your heart and lungs. Muscles protect other internal organs, like your liver and kidneys. But unless you count your underwear, there's no protection for a boy's penis or scrotum. This area also has a lot of nerve endings — which make it extra-sensitive — so if a soccer ball accidentally whams into a boy in that spot, it really hurts. Injuries Unfortunately, there are lots of ways for a boy to hurt his penis or scrotum. It can happen while he's riding his bike or playing sports. It can happen if someone bumps or kicks a boy there. Some sports require boys to wear athletic cups to protect that part of the body, but most of the time boys don't wear this kind of protection. The good news is that these injuries are not usually serious, though a boy will usually feel pain and even could be nauseated for a while. The testicles are loosely attached to the body and are made of a spongy material, so they're able to absorb most collisions without permanent damage. Minor injuries don't usually cause long-term problems. But it's a good idea to tell a parent if you get this kind of injury, just in case. If it's a minor injury, the pain should slowly go away in less than an hour. Meanwhile, your mom or dad could give you some ice to apply and some pain relievers to take. You also could lie down and take it easy for a while. Sometimes, the injury might be more serious. Make sure you tell a parent so you can see a doctor if: the pain is really bad the pain doesn't go away in an hour the scrotum is bruised, swollen (puffy), or punctured (has a hole in it) if the nausea and vomiting continue if you get a fever These are signs of a more serious injury, so seeing a doctor is a must. Other Trouble Down There It's also possible a boy might have pain in his scrotum or testicles, even if he didn't get injured or bumped. In that case, it could be an infection or other problem, so it's important that the boy tell his mom or dad. Another kind of problem — a urinary tract infection (UTI) — can cause burning when a boy pees. Rashes and other infections can make a boy feel itchy or cause pain in the private zone. The bottom line is that a parent needs to know so the boy can get medical care. What if a Boy Is Too Embarrassed? Lots of boys don't like the idea of telling anyone about a problem with their penis, testicles, or scrotum. The good news is that a boy doesn't have to tell everyone — like his whole class! He just needs to tell his mom, dad, or another adult who can get him to the doctor, if needed. It might be a little embarrassing, but if the problem isn't treated, it could get much worse and be really uncomfortable. We know one boy who found a tick on his scrotum. Good thing he told his mom and she could remove it. That was one rude tick! Back to Articles Related Articles PQ: I have a lump on one of my testicles. What should I do? Find out the answer to this personal question! Read More PQ: One of my testicles hangs lower than the other. What should I do? Find out the answer to this personal question! Read More Going to the Doctor When you go to the doctor for a checkup, it's because your parents and your doctor want to see that you're growing just the way you should. Read all about what happens at the doctor's office. Read More Boys and Puberty On the way to becoming a man, a boy's body will go through a lot of changes, including your body growing bigger, your voice changing, and hair sprouting everywhere. Find out more. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.