Penile Numbness: Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Treatment Options

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

UltraPharmRX Medical Team

Ever feel a loss of sensation in the penis even when being stimulated; or perhaps a reduced or complete and total lack of sensation in the penis? You might be suffering from a condition called penile numbness. Some people have reported feeling as though they had pins and needles, while others report erectile dysfunction (ED) as one of its primary symptoms.

 

What are the symptoms of penile numbness?

 

You might have penile numbness if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:

 

  • A feeling of coldness in the penis and/or testicles Loss of sensation in your penis, testicles, or your perineum (the area between the testicles and anus)
  • A tangible reduction of sensation in the penis, testicles, or the area between your testicles and anus (perineum)
  • A tingling sensation in the penis
  • Discoloration of the skin in the penile region

 

It must be noted that the aforementioned symptoms may be a symptom of potentially disastrous medical conditions and may be reason enough to seek immediate medical assistance.

 

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What are the causes of penile numbness?

 

Penile numbness can be caused by the following reasons.

 

Penile trauma or injuries

 

Nerve or blood vessel damage can lead to reduced penile sensitivity. This can arise from trauma to the penis, injuries, or after having undergone surgery for prostate conditions.

Another source of trauma can be riding bicycles frequently or for long distances, because bike seats may compress blood vessels and nerves in the perineum or the area between your testicles and anus.

If you sit for long periods in the same position, it may cause damage to the sensitive penile tissue. Make sure to stand up every so often if you sit at a desk for long stretches of your day to reduce pressure on your male parts.

 

In exceptionally rare cases, penile numbness and ED can be caused by a pinched nerve or blood vessel in the pelvic or groin region. This condition is known as artery entrapment, which is treated by surgery that helps ease the symptoms and restore feeling back in the penis.

 

Side effects from taking certain medications

 

Certain medicines, such as antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, can cause penile numbness.

However, sexual problems arising from taking antidepressants aren’t restricted to just numbness—taking them may cause an emergency medical condition known as priapism, where an erection doesn’t subside and remains erect after four hours, apart from erectile dysfunction, scrotal numbness, and problems with ejaculation.

 

If you suspect that any of your current medicines may be causing penile numbness, erectile dysfunction, or reduced libido, talk to your healthcare provider before completely stopping your regimen. Suddenly stopping medicines like antidepressants may lead to potentially fatal adverse effects. Your doctor can help determine a safe course of action as well as alternative treatment options.

 

Trauma from sex or masturbation

 

The skin around the penis is quite sensitive. That’s why when you masturbate or engage in overly vigorous sex (especially without lubrication), you might experience chafing, dryness, pain, or a loss of sensation. Make sure to use an adequate amount of lubricant, ideally one that is water-based and hypoallergenic to avoid such irritation.

Moreover, sex toys like cock rings or penis pumps have been reported to cause trauma around the delicate tissues in and around the penis. If you’re using similar devices and you suspect they are causing the problem, consider bumping them up in size or avoid using them if it’s causing you numbness or erectile problems.

 

If your penile numbness is accompanied by a rash or by skin irritation, you might be sensitive to latex, especially if you use condoms. Fortunately, there are non-latex options out there. If the rash is accompanied by pain, or if your penis is secreting a discharge, consult your healthcare provider to determine if there is any infection or disease that needs immediate medical attention.

Overly vigorous sex or masturbation can, in very rare cases, cause penile fractures. Granted, while the penis doesn’t contain any bones, it contains flexible structures that are engorged with blood during erections—known as the corpus cavernosum—which can burst if the penis is bent at unnatural angles. Symptoms of penile fractures include pain, discoloration, or bruising at the site, as well as a loss of sensation in the penis. Penile fractures require immediate medical attention—go to the emergency room if you suspect it has happened to you.

 

Low testosterone levels

 

Men’s testosterone levels fluctuate and naturally diminish as they age. Low testosterone doesn’t automatically cause penile numbness, but it may lead to a reduction in sensitivity and exacerbate existing erectile dysfunction and cause disinterest in having sex.

 

Other underlying medical conditions

 

Underlying medical conditions that affect the nerves, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), prostate cancer, and other diseases that lead to nerve damage may cause penile numbness.

Diabetes, for instance, is a well-known cause of erectile dysfunction and penile numbness due to the damage it can cause to the body’s blood vessels and nerves.

If you are experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction, you need to get examined by your healthcare provider to rule out any potential underlying medical conditions that may be causing your ED. Other signs and symptoms of diabetes can be unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, or feelings of extreme thirst.

 

On the other hand, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease wherein the protective layers around the nerves deteriorate. This leads to difficulties for your nerves to send signals throughout the body, which may lead to a substantial loss of sensation in the penis. According to a 1999 study, almost 75% of all MS sufferers reported diminished sexual function––if not a complete and total loss of it.

Another condition that may cause penile numbness is Peyronie’s disease. The latter is a condition where scar tissue builds up on the penis, causing it to get bent and cause pain. Individuals with Peyronie’s disease experience ED, which can add up to the psychological distress of the already-present discomfort they feel.

Psychological health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression can interfere with libido, including penile sensations.

 

What treatment options can I get for penile numbness?

 

Penile numbness can happen for a variety of causes, and treatments will vary based on what is causing your particular case.

 

How is penile numbness managed and what medicines can be taken?

 

The first thing you need to do when you experience penile numbness is to see your healthcare provider right away. From there, they will determine which tests to run. For instance, if they suspect that low testosterone is causing your symptoms, they might have you take a testosterone level test. On the other hand, if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, or if you have a family history of diabetes, your blood sugar levels might be checked, and put on a regimen of medication and recommended lifestyle changes to prevent further nerve damage moving forward.

 

If you have been diagnosed with Peyronie’s disease, your treatment options may include a medicine known as Xiaflex or collagenase clostridium histolyticum. This medicine breaks down the scar tissue in the penis and helps bring back sensitivity and function.

If you’re taking antidepressants or medication that is causing penile numbness, ask your doctor if switching to another medicine is an option. Deciding to stop treatment on your own is a bad idea that could lead to disastrous consequences. Fortunately, plenty of treatment options exist to treat your psychological health concerns without the danger of causing unpleasant side effects—your healthcare provider will help you determine the best course of action to take.

 

Getting ED medication has never been easier

Connect with a US-licensed healthcare provider for a FREE evaluation!

 

How is low testosterone treated?

 

You can have your testosterone levels examined through a blood test. For instance, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is an FDA-approved treatment for low testosterone and its symptoms which may include reduced penile sensation and low sex drive. Testosterone replacement therapy may be administered in the form of injections, topical gels, skin patches, pellets, and tablets.

 

How are injuries to the penis treated?

 

If you’re a cyclist and suspect that all the time you clocked in on your bike trips may be the source of your loss of penile sensation, you can opt to wear special bike shorts that have padding, consciously and intentionally stand while cycling, or change your bike seat to one that puts less pressure on your pelvic region when you’re riding—more specifically, your perineum. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health suggests cyclists use a no-nose bike seat to protect against sexual dysfunction.

Experiencing penile numbness? Talk to your healthcare provider to determine what’s causing it and to determine how to solve it.

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Receive Expert Quality Care
from your phone or computer,
with UltraPharmRX

  • 100% U.S. Licensed Medical Provider
  • U.S. Licensed Pharmacy
  • Discreet Shipping
  • Monthly Refills
  • No Waiting Rooms, No Appointments
  • Text Messaging Based Consultation *