Complications from Genital Piercings

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Complications from Genital Piercings

Male genital piercing is a procedure that has gained popularity in recent years as a form of self-expression and body modification. However, it is important to be aware of the potential complications that can arise from this type of procedure. At California Adult Circumcision, Dr. Mo Bidair understands the importance of patient safety and provides comprehensive care to address any post-piercing complications that may occur.

If you are experiencing any issues or concerns related to your genital piercing, please contact our office at (619) 486-5005 to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan and ensure your well-being.

About Genital Piercings

Genital piercing is a practice that began in ancient times. In fact, depictions and descriptions of genital piercings can be found in the ancient Sanskrit text the Kama Sutra, which was written in the first century CE. (1) In modern times, individuals seek to express their individuality and enhance their sexual experiences with a variety of piercing choices such as the following.

  • Prince Albert – The Prince Albert is a piercing that places a ring through the opening of the urethra that comes out just behind the glans through to the bottom of the shaft
  • Reverse Prince Albert – The Reverse PA is a ring through the opening of the urethra that comes out just behind the glans through to the top of the shaft.
  • Apadravya – An Apadravya is a vertical piercing through the glans from top to bottom (or vice-versa).
  • Ampallang – An Ampallang is a horizontal piercing through the glans from right to left (or vice-versa).
  • Dydoe – The Dydoe pierces through the ridge at the base of the glans.
  • Frenum – A Frenum is a horizontal piercing through the underside of the shaft of the penis, near the frenulum.
  • Jacob’s Ladder – Multiple horizontal piercings running in a parallel row down the shaft is sometimes referred to as a Jacob’s Ladder.

Although most piercers adhere to stringent health and safety regulations, and most recipients look after their piercings, it is important to be aware of the potential complications that can arise from this type of procedure.

What Can Go Wrong With My Genital Piercing?

As with any procedure that pierces the skin, genital piercings carry certain risks.


Bleeding is a possible complication after male genital piercing. The genital region contains numerous blood vessels, and piercing them can lead to bleeding. While some bleeding is normal immediately after the procedure, particularly after piercings of the glans, excessive or prolonged bleeding should be addressed promptly by a healthcare professional.


One potential complication after male genital piercing is infection. Due to the sensitive nature of the area, there is an increased risk of bacterial or fungal infections. These infections can cause pain, swelling, redness, and discharge. It is crucial to keep the piercing clean and follow proper aftercare instructions to minimize the risk of infection.


Scarring is a common concern with any type of piercing, including male genital piercings. Scar formation can vary depending on individual healing processes and the specific location of the piercing. It is essential to promote optimal healing and minimize the risk of excessive scarring.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to the jewelry used for genital piercings can occur. Some individuals may have sensitivities or allergies to certain metals, such as nickel. It is important to choose high-quality, hypoallergenic materials, such as titanium, to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.


Migration or rejection is another concern. Sometimes, the body may perceive the piercing as a foreign object and attempt to push it out or move it. (2) This can result in discomfort, inflammation, and even the complete expulsion of the piercing. Regular monitoring and prompt intervention by a healthcare professional can help address this issue.

Urinary Tract Issues

Urinary tract infections and difficulty urinating are possible complications of genital piercing. The presence of a piercing can increase the risk of bacteria entering the urethra, leading to urinary tract infections. Additionally, swelling or obstruction caused by the piercing can make urination challenging. You should seek prompt medical attention if you experience pain, a burning sensation, or difficulties urinating.

Decreased Sensitivity

Decreased sensitivity or sensation is another potential complication after male genital piercing. The piercing may alter nerve pathways, resulting in reduced sensitivity or altered sensations during sexual activities. It is crucial to have realistic expectations and understand the potential impact on sexual experiences before undergoing the procedure.

Signs of Penile Infection

Whether you have a genital piercing or not, penile infections can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms that can significantly impact a man’s quality of life. It is crucial to be aware of these signs and seek medical attention promptly to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. 

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Pain or Discomfort
  • Discharge
  • Foul-Smelling Odor
  • Sores or Ulcers
  • Rash
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Erectile Dysfunction

Dr. Bidair understands the sensitive nature of penile health concerns and provides a compassionate and discreet environment for patients seeking treatment. If you are experiencing any of these signs of penile infection, contact California Adult Circumcision at (619) 486-5005 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bidair. Your well-being and comfort are our top priorities.


Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin of the penis is tight, making it difficult to retract. (2) When the foreskin is already naturally tight, the addition of a genital piercing can exacerbate the issue. This can contribute to a condition known as paraphimosis in men who have had no prior issues with their foreskin. Although paraphimosis after genital piercing is a rare complication, it is essential to approach such suspected situations with caution and seek professional assistance from a skilled surgeon like Dr. Bidair.

What Happens if I Have Phimosis?

Surgical intervention for phimosis and paraphimosis can involve circumcision, which is the removal of the foreskin, or preputioplasty, which involves making incisions in the tight areas of the foreskin to allow for proper retraction. These procedures are typically performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, ensuring minimal discomfort and a quick recovery process.

Benefits of Circumcision

In addition to addressing phimosis, circumcision offers a range of benefits. It reduces the risk of urinary tract infections, lowers the chances of developing certain sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, and decreases the risk of penile cancer. Circumcision also improves personal hygiene, making it easier to maintain cleanliness and reduce the risk of smegma buildup.

Circumcision in Adults

While circumcision is often associated with infancy, it can also be performed in adult males. Adult circumcision offers the same benefits as in infants and can be an effective treatment for phimosis or other medical conditions. Dr. Bidair has extensive experience in performing adult circumcisions, ensuring optimal outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Find out more about the benefits of adult circumcision by reading Dr. Bidair’s blog.

Personal Consultation

During your consultation, Dr. Bidair will carefully review your medical history and discuss the specific complications you are facing.  After thoroughly examining the affected area, Dr. Bidair will assess the severity of the issues you are facing and determine the best course of action for your case. Complications from male genital piercing can vary greatly, and it is essential to address them promptly with precision and expertise. 

Cost of Circumcision in San Diego

The cost of addressing complications after male genital piercing will vary depending on the specific issues and the necessary treatment plan. At California Adult Circumcision, we understand the importance of providing comprehensive and personalized care to our patients. It is crucial to address any complications promptly to minimize discomfort and potential long-term consequences.

Call (619) 486-5005 or complete an inquiry form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bidair. Our team will assess your specific situation and provide guidance on the most appropriate course of action to ensure your well-being.


Why do some men pierce their genitals?

Male genital piercing can offer a range of benefits beyond the realm of aesthetics. From enhanced sexual pleasure and self-confidence to personal expression and heightened sexual awareness. However, it is essential to make an informed decision and seek the expertise of a reputable professional to ensure a safe and successful outcome.

Are penis piercings safe?

Male genital piercing is a procedure that involves inserting jewelry through the skin or mucous membranes of the penis or scrotum. Although the vast majority of piercings occur without incident, the procedure does carry certain risks. And, while it may be a personal choice for some individuals, it is important to understand the potential complications that may arise from this procedure. Such complications include infection, migration, sensitivity issues, and foreskin retraction difficulties.

Is adult circumcision a painful procedure?

Adult circumcision is performed under anesthesia, which ensures that patients do not experience pain during the procedure. After the surgery, some discomfort and swelling are expected, but this can be managed with pain medication and proper post-operative care. Most patients report that any discomfort they experience is well-tolerated and resolves within a few days. It is important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your urologist to ensure a smooth recovery.

How long does it take to recover from adult circumcision?

Recovery time can vary from person to person, but typically it takes about 2-3 weeks for the initial healing process. During this time, it is important to avoid strenuous activities and sexual intercourse to allow the incision to heal properly. It is normal to experience some swelling and bruising in the immediate postoperative period, but these symptoms should gradually subside. Your urologist will provide you with specific aftercare instructions to promote optimal healing and minimize any potential complications.


  1. Lee B, Vangipuram R, Petersen E, Tyring SK. Complications associated with intimate body piercings. Dermatology Online Journal. 2018;24(7). doi: 
  2. McPhee AS, Stormont G, McKay AC. Phimosis. PubMed. Published 2021.