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Genital Injuries Common But Preventable, Researchers Say

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Over 16,000 American adults head to emergency rooms each year for genital injuries, a new study finds, but many of these incidents don't have to happen.

Researchers looked at U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data from 2002 to 2010, to assess the number of genital injuries caused by consumer products such as clothing, furniture, tools and toys.

During that time, more than 142,000 adults went to emergency rooms for treatment of minor and major genitourinary injuries, which involved the genitals, urinary tract and kidneys.

About 70 percent of the patients were men. More than one-third were young men aged 18 to 28, who often suffered their injuries during sporting accidents, such as slamming their groin onto the crossbar of a mountain bike, according to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers.

Older men were more likely to sustain genital injuries while doing routine activities, such as slipping and hitting their groin on the edge of a bathtub. Older men were also more likely than younger men to be hospitalized for their injuries.

While women were overall less likely to suffer genital injuries, they were more likely than men to have cuts and infections related to shaving or grooming pubic hair. A previous study by the same UCSF team found that these types of injuries in women rose fivefold between 2002 and 2010.

The study was published recently in The Journal of Urology.

The findings may highlight new ways to prevent genital injuries because they tended to cluster into particular age groups and involve specific consumer products, according to the researchers.

This could include improved consumer education and product safety measures, such as padding on bicycle bars and frames, slip-free bath mats and safer techniques for grooming pubic hair, study leader and urologist Dr. Benjamin Breyer said in a UCSF news release.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about genital injury.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of California, San Francisco, news release, Nov. 9, 2012

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