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Numb penis. I was on a train to school. It was a cool day and the train was crowded. The seat was hard. It was uncomfortable. A girl next to me told me about her problems.
As time passed, I began to feel strange. Suddenly I started thinking about my penis. Was it numb? I could not feel it. And I could not easily grab it to ensure it is still there.
Tip: A man normally feels his penis. But a variety of medical issues can cause penile numbness.
Concern: Numbness is a concern for many men. The pudendal nerve, influenced by sitting position and general health, may cause this.
Bicycling. Riding a bicycle is good cardiovascular exercise. Long-term exertion on a bike saddle (seat) can cause a man to experience a numb penis.
And: In the book High-Performance Cycling, we find that pressure on the saddle can result in a nerve problem.
Note: The pudendal nerve provides feeling to the penis. If the nerve somehow becomes compressed, the penis will become numb.
Note 2: This is a form of compression neuropathy—a nerve issue. This is a temporary effect.
In cyclists the most common problems of this nature are... in men the pressure on the pudendal nerve from the saddle resulting in a numb penis.High-Performance Cycling
Further investigation. I decided to look into factors that contribute to the numb penis while riding a bike. In the New Scientist Volume 131, I found more information.
Among men, the second most common complaint was genital [anesthesia], or a numb penis. This is the result of their more slumped posture, with their weight pressing down on the front of the saddle.New Scientist
Posture. The problem of genital anesthesia is reduced by having a less slumped posture. Also, weight loss could reduce the pressure on the saddle.
Pressure: If a man's body weighs less, less pressure will be put on the pudendal nerve.
Special seats. Police sometimes patrol on bikes. One study explored whether male police officers who patrolled on bicycles could benefit from no-nose saddles.
Result: The no-nose saddles did reduce perineal pressure. And the health of the penises of these police officers also improved.
With few exceptions, bicycle police officers were able to effectively use no-nose saddles in their police work. Use of no-nose saddles reduced most perineal pressure. Penile health improved after 6 [months] using no-nose saddles as measured by biothesiometry and [International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire].Cutting off the nose to save the penis
Alcock syndrome. Pudendal nerve compression causing penis numbness is known as the Alcock syndrome. In anatomy, the pudendal nerve passes through the Alcock's canal in the pelvis.
Name: This is where the name Alcock derives from. It is unclear if this has any relation to slang words.
Alcock's syndrome in bicycle riders has been characterized as a prolonged glans and penile insensitivity, genital numbness and an erectile dysfunction.Site of origin of Alcock's syndrome
Tingling. Another possible symptom of nerve compression in the pelvic area (known as Alcock's syndrome) is penis tingling. This may be a preliminary state of penile numbness.
And: Tingling may also occur when the man's penis is recovering from its anaesthetized state.
Abuse. There is another possible cause for a loss of sensation in the penis. A victim of sexual abuse can become numb. The mind affects the penis.
And: In the book Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals, I found information about how this occurs.
As he became more comfortable with me, he told me that he had been abused by a coach in a previous school. The abuse consisted of fondling his penis. He was frightened to tell any other teachers or his mother, managing it alone.Handbook of Clinical Sexuality
Abuse, continued. The man gradually gained back feeling in his penis through talk therapy and practice. Sexual abuse can reduce sensation. The text states that the mind can numb the penis.
Tip: Sexual abuse is an important issue that has consequences for everyone involved. The mind and body are connected.
So: Some causes of numb penis may involve not the penis primarily but the mind and a man's mental health.
Pudendal nerve. Every person has a pudendal nerve in the pelvic region. For a man this controls sensation to his penis. Damage here can cause a loss of sensation to the penis.
Note: Compression of the pudendal nerve causes a loss of feeling to the penis in men who ride bikes.
Also: Fascinating illustrations of the internal anatomy of the pelvis and the pudendal nerve are found in the Thieme Atlas of Anatomy.Thieme Atlas of Anatomy
Prostate. Another possible cause of penile numbness is related to the prostate. Radiation is used to treat cancer. In men with prostate cancer, the genital region is targeted.
Radiation: Men who have prostate cancer and have had bracytherapy—radiation therapy to the prostate gland—may experience numbness.
Note: The man had penile numbness after his radiation treatment. The problem was resolved to the man's satisfaction.
Info: This is an issue for men with known prostate problems. The man described here was 68 years old and had prostate cancer.
Penile numbness is a rare complication of permanent prostate brachytherapy, and optimal clinical management remains unclear.Subacute penile numbness after brachytherapy
Vacuum pump. Medical researchers have also investigated vacuum pumps used on the penis. One study tested whether vacuum pumps could elongate the male penis.
Result: The length increase was not encouraging. An increase of length of 0.3 centimeters only (0.1 inches) was found.
And: The vacuum pump devices caused penile numbness for the test subjects. The numbness resolved on its own.
There was one case of [hematoma] of the penis and one of glans numbness, both resolved spontaneously without any intervention.A vacuum device for penile elongation
Appliances. Sexual appliances (like rings) may also cause penile numbness. A man should be aware these may cause physical damage to the penis. This involves numbness.
Caution: Numbness, like pain, is a sign that something is wrong. Do not ignore it. Rather, try to avoid causing it again.
Creams. Ejaculation occurs when the penis releases ejaculate fluid. One medical treatment that has been investigated to reduce premature ejaculation is a numbing cream.
Lidocaine: A numbing cream, such as one containing lidocaine can be used on the penile shaft and glans.
Study: In one study, we find that numbing the penis with this cream is effective for the treatment of premature ejaculation.
Therefore, lidocaine-prilocaine cream 5% is effective in premature ejaculation and 20 min of application time before sexual contact is the optimum period.Optimum usage of prilocaine-lidocaine cream
Gels, sensations. Other ointments and gels may reduce sensation in the penis. If you choose to masturbate with an unusual lubricant, this may provoke penile numbness.
So: Don't be too creative if you decide to use something to masturbate with. This can come back to haunt you.
Paraplegia. One common question people have about disabled individuals who cannot walk—who are confined to wheelchairs—involves the penis.
Question: Do men with paraplegia have feeling in their penises? Can they become physically aroused?
And: In investigating this question, I found the issue to be complex. Some men do not have feeling in their penises.
Note: This quote comes from the book Moving Violations by John Hockenberry. I recommend reading more about it.
Sex was one detail of life as a paraplegic that was rarely discussed in the hospital. I had no sensation "down there," so what I would do "down there" now, besides jam catheter tubes into my penis, I didn't know.Moving Violations by John Hockenberry
Pain. The tip of the penis may develop pain. This is due to a variety of causes, some more serious than others. A penis can develop pain only in certain states.Pain, Tip of PenisPain, Penis
Spots. Penile skin can become discolored. This has a variety of causes, most not serious. You are probably worrying about nothing.Discolored Spot on Penis
Curves. A penis may have a certain degree of curvature and still be considered normal and healthy. Unless there is pain, you are probably fine.Curved Penis
Fractures. A penis can fracture. This is a medical emergency. And the pictures in the textbooks I found are horrifying. Pain and detumescence occur.Penis Fracture
Zipper injury. This is common with the penis. This topic is described in great detail in the medical literature. Prevention is key. Please be careful when zipping up.Penis Zipper Injury
Koro. This is a fear in some parts of the world. A man fears that his penis will shrink and he will die. This is called Koro. It is worth studying.Shrinking Penis
Nerves. The penis has a great concentration of nerve endings, which give it feeling and control its blood supply. Scientists do not completely understand this.Nerve Endings
Priapism. This is a medical emergency. It can cause permanent damage to the penis. Psychiatric drugs and some medical conditions cause it.Priapism
Numbness, causes. Many causes of numbness in the genital region are not alarming. Most are not permanent. Some numbness may be intentional.
Considerations. Other causes involve athletic activity such as cycling. This is helped with special seats. Police officers have had many problems in this area.