People’s genitals can look different, just like other parts of the body. Penises can have different colours, lengths, thicknesses and can have different amounts of hair growing on them. It is common to have different spots and marks on the penis and scrotum.
Nobody can tell by looking at your penis or scrotum if you have had sex.
Different parts of the penis and scrotum
The pictures show where different parts of the penis and scrotum are located (in Swedish).
Sometimes a penis can become hard
Most often, the penis is soft. It can swell and become hard, for example, when you are aroused. You get an erection. This is because the penis is filled with blood.
It is common for the penis to be a little crooked when you have an erection.
The skin on the penis and scrotum is thin
There is no fat under the skin of the penis and scrotum. For this reason, blood vessels, natural spots and the pores where strands of hair come from can be easily seen. The skin on the penis and scrotum usually turns a littler darker during puberty.
The head of the penis - the glans
In puberty, many people get small spots that stick out around the bottom edge of the glans. This is nothing dangerous, it is normal and exactly how it should be.
The tiny opening on the head of the penis is for urine and semen. The tube inside the penis leads to both the bladder and the scrotum.
The outermost part of the penis is protected by a thin layer of skin that can be pulled down. This is called the foreskin. A kind of fluid is produced on the inside of the foreskin. This fluid keeps the head of the penis moist and protects it from bacteria.
Different people have different amounts of foreskin. Many people have no foreskin at all because they have been circumcised. That means that all or parts of the foreskin have been surgically removed. Circumcision is performed for religious or traditional reasons, or because of a medical problem such as the foreskin being too tight.
A string of skin
Underneath the penis is a string of skin. This string of skin is tight. It can sometimes be a little too short, in which case there might occasionally be some bleeding when you have an erection. This can hurt a bit, but usually heals by itself.
The scrotum is the sack under the penis. It looks a little nubbyand has hair growing on it once you have reached puberty. There are two balls inside the scrotum, these are called the testicles. It is common for these to be of different sizes.
Sperm is created in the balls, inside the scrotum. Sperm collects in a thin, long tube behind the testicles. This tube goes all the way up to the bladder and connects with the tube through which urine comes out.
Semen is the fluid that comes out of the penis when you ejaculate, for instance, when you masturbate. An ejaculation usually contains about a teaspoon of fluid.
There are many millions of tiny sperm in the semen. They can fertilize an egg, which can lead to a pregnancy. The sperm however, is only a minor part of the semen. Most of it is fluid.
New sperm are created every day. This means that you can ejaculate as many times as you want without running out of sperm.
The anus is at the end of the rectum. This is where faeces come out.
Penises can be of different sizes
The penis and scrotum stop growing when puberty is over, roughly when you are between 18 and 20 years of age. Most adults have a penis which is between 9 and 22 centimetres long when erect.
Your penis size has nothing to do with how enjoyable sex is. Not for you, and not for the person you are having sex with.
You cannot exercise or stretch the penis to make it larger.
Many parts of the genitals are sensitive to touch
Many parts of the penis and scrotum and the area around them are very sensitive to touch. You can feel sexual pleasure when touching and playing with different parts. Test to find out what feels good for you.
Wash the penis and scrotum with warm water
Wash the penis and scrotum with warm water. Washing once a day is enough. If you have foreskin, pull it back and clean underneath the foreskin, and on the glans. Otherwise it can begin to smell or get infected.
Do not use soap, as soap can dry out your skin. You can moisturize this part of your body with a non-perfumed oil if your skin gets dry.
If you have questions or want to be examined
Do you have questions about your penis or scrotum? Or are you worried about something? In that case, it is a good idea to get help so that you can get the answers to your questions.
You can go to a youth guidance centre (ungdomsmottagning), a health clinic (vårdcentral) or a dermatology and venereology clinic (hud- och könsmottagning). You can also go to a clinic for men. In Sweden, you can go to a clinic of your choice.
It is a good idea to get help if you have any of the following symptoms:
- You have spots or marks that hurt or itch.
- You have had sex and think that you might have caught a sexually transmitted disease.
- It is difficult to pull back your foreskin.
- A thick fluid comes out of your penis that you usually do not have.
- You often have difficulty getting an erection.
- Your penis or scrotum hurt when you have sex.
- The string of skin underneath your penis has cracked several times.
- There is something hard in the skin of your penis that hurts.
- It burns when you urinate, it is difficult to urinate, or you need to urinate more often than usual.
- You have pain in your penis or scrotum and in your lower abdomen or lower back.
Go to an emergency room if you have any of the following symptoms:
- You have a lot of pain in your penis or scrotum.
- Your penis is red and swollen.
- Your scrotum feels tender and swollen and you feel ill.
You can have your penis and scrotum examined if necessary. No one besides you, can tell or know that you have had your penis and scrotum examined just by looking at it.