Why is a penis going numb?

Oxana Ross, MD

neurologist
  • Published:
    11 October 2022
Why is a penis going numb?

    Most healthy men, regardless of their age, have the problem of numbness in the penis (head, scrotum). 

    While some men go to the doctor straight away, others wait and hope that it will go away on its own.

Typically, 80% of men overcome numbness over time without medical treatment. For the rest, it worsens, involves secondary problems, and becomes more complex and expensive to treat. 

    It is recommended not to overlook these symptoms.

    We have compiled the most common causes of numbness in the genitals and perineum:

  1. Prolonged sitting, which leads to venous stasis in the pelvic organs, mechanical compression of the nerves and vessels of the pelvis and perineum;
  2. Injuries, trauma, blows to the groin, hypothermia, and overheating cause loss of sensation for various lengths of time;
  3. Excessive masturbation reduces sensitivity in the penis, skin, and frenulum injury, especially with rough action without lubrication (dry);
  4. Poor quality, tight, synthetic underwear causes squeezing, overheating of the perineum, and resulting discomfort and itching. As a result, sensitivity is reduced and microcracks and inflammations occur;
  5. Aggressive sports: long cycling rides, especially cross-country rides, horseback riding, and motorcycling.

    Genital numbness as a symptom can be present in various diseases:

  1. Inflammation of the glans, the foreskin (balanoposthitis);
  2. Sexually transmitted infections;
  3. Nervous system diseases – spinal cord injuries may cause a decrease in sensitivity of erogenous zones, disrupting the function of the genitals;
  4. Endocrinological diseases: diabetes mellitus, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, testosterone imbalances;
  5. Cardiovascular diseases;
  6. Mental disorders. The most frequent causes of genital numbness occurring in men under 45 years of age are stress, fatigue, and insecurity of oneself or one's partner, which reduces the intensity of sensation and may lead to complications, including impotence.

    In some cases, numbness is caused by the use of antidepressants, anticonvulsants, sleeping pills, and B-blockers, which is why many men refuse to take these medications. It is strictly forbidden to do so. It is better to contact the doctor who prescribed the treatment and ask him to adjust it.

    You should also note that excessive use of alcohol, nicotine, or cocaine may also lead to numbness of the genitals.

    Do not wait for the numbness to disappear on its own. We recommend contacting a sexologist or urologist if you notice these symptoms.

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