holy bloody mess batman!….the bleeding scrotum capo…i mean caper…tmi?


being a leader is a lot like being a lady....if you have to say you are then you arent...m thatcher

Guitar Capo-Or as my mother used to say, ” Necessity is the mother of invention.”

When I was a urology resident I had to do a research paper on Fournier’s gangrene. I got somehow the original article on the subject by Mr. Fournier himself. It was in French and much to the chagrin of the chairman of the Dept. of Urology, it cost something like 500 dollars to translate it. Fournier’s is an interesting and devastating disease process. Two things are remarkable about it: one it can start as a small scratch on the scrotum and in hours infection can devour tissue from the scrotum and then up onto the abdominal tissue and skin (an infection that gallops) and despite all the destruction, the testicles themselves are spared. Why? The skin of the scrotum and that of the testicles are different so the testicles are unaffected. Think of a forest fire and one species of tree is left alone. The only treatment is wide and radical debridement of dead tissue, often times just leaving the testicles hanging there alive but with no covering. I saw about five cases of this in my time as a resident and hence the paper.

Now about the scrotum, I had a saying as a resident, “The scrotum is your friend, the urethra your enemy.” The scrotum is very forgiving usually, ” John, you only need a postage stamp of scrotal skin alive to cover testicles. An amazing organ indeed,” Dr. Witherington used to say. The least amount of trauma to the urethra and you’ve got issues forever.

As men age small little clusters of blood vessels develop on the scrotum. The are asymptomatic and really don’t mean anything or amount to anything…usually. Scrotal petechia or specifically Angiokeratoma of Fordyce– little things that look like a blood vessel pimple.

Anyway, on Thursday of this past week I was on my way out the door to work and my wife asks, “John did you cut something. There is blood in the bathroom and it leads into the living room.” We go back to look  and sure enough there is fresh blood from the bathroom to the living room hard wood floor and then it mysteriously stopped. Nothing anywhere else.

“It must be Penelope or Chloe,” I say. But after checking the two of them and their sleeping area (our bed) no blood there. Since the blood was in front of my sink, I became the suspect. I check my nose, hair, ears and arms and stuff. No blood. I check other places…nothing. “I don’t know Karen, I don’t think its me. Maybe I cut something opening the orange juice this morning. (The orange juice has a serrated top that you have to pull off to open.)

I go to work and no other issues are noted by me, our dogs or Karen. “I was never at your sink John. It can’t be me.”

So the next morning, I turn the shower on to let the water get warm, and as I step in, I see blood swirling around down the drain. (I reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock movie where the lady is stabbed in the shower, Psycho I believe. We saw a reanactment of that at Disney World.  That scene ha been rated on of the best ever in movie making annals.) I start to look around on my body to see where it is coming from and you guessed it…my friend the scrotum. I put pressure on the area and notice that I have the little blood vessel bumps in other surrounding areas that I’ve told my patients about over the years. I figure I must have popped one of them and now it was bleeding.

Over the years patients have come in to my office with bloody pants where blood had soaked through their underwear and pants because on of these things rupturing. “Doc, I think I am bleeding to death. Where is this coming from? Why won’t it stop?”

There are two reasons why this little known issue of the male scrotum is not easy to stop. For starters, patients won’t hold pressure for the time it takes to achieve clotting. They want to peek every two to three minutes, see it bleed and then repeat that process. They never do the full 7-10 minutes. The other is that is not like a scratch, this is an issue where the top of a blood vessel is scraped off. There is a larger area to coap and then stop bleeding…like a whole in a small blood vessel that can’t close.

Well I am in the shower and am pinching the area to keep it from bleeding and switching hands in order to “scrub both sides of my body” and with each switch the bleeding continues. This process continued through the time I dried off, shaved and dressed. It wasn’t until I got my socks on that I could “practice what I preached about holding pressure without looking.”

It was then about 8:55 a.m. and I already had a text from my nurse that, “three waiting.” What to do?

As I am holding the area  between  my fingers I ask, ” Do I hold this all the way  to work? What if it’s still bleeding when I get there?” I had already tried putting a bunch of toilet paper and pulled up my underwear real tight…not enough pressure. The degree of bleeding, just as my patients had told me, was impressive.

Then I had an idea, “Karen, do we have any of those clips we use to keep potato chips fresh?”

“John are you kidding? Ouch!”

“I think it will work,” I say and she begins looking through drawers. She finds one but it was about 8 inches long. I found one that was about 3 inches and wadded toilet paper up over the area and put on the clip. The problem was that the pressure exerted was too broad so the area just  kept on bleeding. “This won’t work,” I say dejectedly.

“Here’s a guitar tuner. Will this work?” I look up and she has a guitar capo. A glorified clothes pin I think. Later my wife said she offered up the capo as a joke, but it looked like to me that it just might do the trick.  “Perfect,” I say. “Pin point pressure right to the area I need and “it’s hand free.”

I fold up toilet paper again in tight bundle, pinch out scrotal skin away from the testicle, and put the capo on. It stayed in place, and it stopped the bleeding. Except for the intense pinching sensation, I thought it would be fine for me to drive to work and once I get there see if it did the trick. The drive satisfies the requisite 15 minutes of holding pressure. “John, you are crazy,” I heard my wife say as I went off to work.

At work I go into the bathroom to take the capo off and see if the bleeding had stopped. When I go to take off the capo, the back side of it (which some family musician had put tape on-see picture) had impressed and attached itself to the scrotal skin. So when I went to take it off it got stuck on the back side, very painful, and the effort to get that off disturbed the front side and it started bleeding again. I get a bunch of paper towels and press that up against the scrotum and pull the underwear again, but to no help. I decide to try the capo again. This time I folded a paper towel so that it protected the skin on the front and back and put the capo back on. “Dr. McHugh, Line One,” I hear as I am flushing bloody paper towels down the toilet and washing my “hands free of blood.”

Lab jackets are very forgiving. They cover wrinkled shirts, an ever-increasing waist line and the rigid silhouette of a capo in one’s britches to stop scrotal bleeding. I see about five patients over about the next 25 minutes and then make my way to the bathroom again. I carefully remove the capo…and no bleeding. It was done.

In scouts…starting a fire for a scout is not usually a big deal. But if you tell a scout, “start a fire…and you have three matches and two minutes,” well that is a different story. In this case the bleeding alone was not that big a deal but add the other stresses…well I was concerned. I knew I’d be alright and that there would be a “story in it.”

All day I carried the capo in my lab pocket. I told the story (yes I did) about ten times to certain fun-loving patients and to my all female  staff. “This is the thing right here,” as every time everyone cringed. It was a great Friday afternoon pick-me-up of sorts.

Everyone thought it must have been very painful to wear a capo,(especially when I used the capo to pick up a book of about 100 pages to show how strong the pressure was) but they did not know what I knew and that was that, ” One’s scrotum is one’s friend.”

One other thing…I anticipated one day one of my son’s sitting down to strum the guitar and beginning to use the now famous medicinal capo and me saying quickly, ” I don’t think I’d use that one my friend.”

Finally, why the capo story. It intensely reminded me of my prostate cancer journey during the time I worked with a condom catheter on daily for three months. Each day in that recovery to continence and potency was an uncomfortable adventure…ahh… the  memories….

52 Replies to “holy bloody mess batman!….the bleeding scrotum capo…i mean caper…tmi?”

  1. Oh, John!! While reading this post, I thought of the constant in Rushton’s life, “A fool with a tool is still a fool!” It is so good to read your articles as you can provide vital information about the oddities in dealing with cancer treatments and still that McHugh humor shines through!! Love the Viagra clock, too!!

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  2. Phew, John, thanks for sharing this info; I’ve just had the shower experience. I was looking for an after hours medical advice number when I stumbled across your post; much to my relief. I hope this is not going to be a regular occurrence. Big AL in Australia PS: The “Big” is of no reference to ANY part of my anatomy by the way except, maybe, my nose 🙂

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  3. I was doing a vasectomy on a guy today and saw numerous “spot blood vessels” on his scrotum. I tell him to one day expect a bunch of bleeding from one of them if they pop. He told me he was on vacation with about 20 extended family members when it happened to him in the shower. His solution was a stuffing toilet paper in his underwear and then changing it over and over again until it stopped. He said, ” I had the whole in the shower thing. I am bleeding and looking all over my body to see where in the world it was coming from. Sadly, despite all the posts to inform folks about prostate cancer, the number one search item that gets a viewer to my blog now is….”bleeding scrotum.” Oh well.

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  4. Thanks for sharing John…while I wasn’t fortunate enough for the shower…I was simply standing in the kitchen making dinner…when blood soaked through my boxers…through my shorts…and began running down my leg to my ankle… quite shocking to everyone at the dinner. LOL..

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  5. Holy Bloody shower this morning! Toilet paper in the shorts and off to work. No further issues, but was I nervous all day ’til reading your post. What a relief. After finding this, I can hardley wait for prostate problems! LOL…

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    1. Same experience. We were cooking for a group of some 50 for a couple of weeks. Left our room, off to the kitchen at 6:00 a.m. with the wad of tissue strategically in place. Around noon, the wad was gone! Did someone find it in the kitchen, the dining room??? Could they do a DNA test and ID me?? Never found out! Maybe I need to buy a capo??

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  6. Thanks for the info, makes me feel a lot better. I thought it might be connected to my enlarged prostate, going in for a simple prostectomy in a couple of weeks to relieve the urinary urges and frequencies. Ah the golden years my ass, or scrotum, or prostate.
    Thanks for the humor.

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  7. Something similar just happened to me actually. Wasn’t under the same conditions as in your story, but I was bleeding and had to deal with it. I tend to get ingrown hairs every once in a while, caused by my Keratosis Pilaris (a very common issue that is mostly superficial and very annoying). I thought I had an ingrown hair tonight, and stretched the skin to get a better look before I decided how I should proceed to deal with it. Of course, that pressure on the dot and lightly rubbing of the surface (I was trying to feel if there was a hair poking to the surface) causing enough agitation popped it. As always if I ever start to bleed from anything, whether a cut, scrape, or this (which had never happened to me before), I remained calm. My thought process being, if I’m bleeding, getting my heart rate up certainly doesn’t help me stop bleeding. Once I was able to keep it bleeding too much over all my clothes (trying to save my new expensive cashmere pajama bottoms I got on sale), I hobbled over to my closet where a box with new clothes, some skin care products and a styptic pencil had been shoved into after arriving about 2 months ago (I’ve been a tad lazy putting things away). I bought this styptic pencil, not from minor cuts from shaving since I luckily never cut myself that way, but for those times I do accidentally break the skin while removing those occasional ingrown hairs wherever on my body they may appear. Since I never used the styptic pencil before, I opened it with one hand while still applying pressure to the spot with tissue paper (it had been bleeding for 3 minutes at this point, wasn’t slowing down, and the dogs happened to stare at me weirdly at this point since using one hand to open the package was a bit awkward), and followed the directions: moisten tip of pencil with water and apply to the affected area. I did so, and the giant amount of blood that was seeping out and had soaked two wads of toilet paper had stopped flowing. It’s been an hour, and I’ve had a simple round cosmetic cotton pad against it and held up by my briefs. In that hour, I looked around to see if there might be another way to deal with this in case it ever started bleeding again proving the method I chose to be insufficient. As of now, the cotton round is still white as snow. Though I know it may still bleed again if the spot gets reopened, I think the styptic pencil was quite an effective choice, especially since I was told that it disinfects as well. If this is a bad way of dealing with this type of injury, I’d love to know about it of course, but if not, maybe it might be a helpful suggestion for one of your patients in the future. (By the way, sorry about the novel… my friends can tell you my texting usually comes in pairs, if that’s any indication…)

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  8. Thank you! Went to the bathroom and saw blood, found source of bleed and spent last hour going through every scenario! Your piece made me smile and made me feel a whole lot more relieved. Will keep an eye on it and see what happens.

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  9. The computer is a wonderful, thing, the consistency of these messages tells me the male species are not detered by a bit of blood to stay away from work! Same basic shower story, did not notice till I was toweling off, have not told the wife yet as I am sure she will not be impressed with a amount of blood left on the towel. My only concern is I am off to Italy in a month with lots of walking, is this a one of or can it happen frequently for a period of time, is there a treatment, my annual physical is next week and I will bring it up with my Dr. Now that I know about the site I will be back. 54 yr old from Manitoba

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  10. Thank you for the information. This happened this morning to my husband who is 57. We were both very troubled. I can’t wait to have hime read these comments when he returns from work.

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  11. Whew…okay, both my hubby (who turned 65 in August) and I feel better, except for the concern that it might happen again, and soon. I woke up this morning to my husband coming in saying something is wrong, but he couldn’t see what was causing it. He had gone into our RV living room (we’re full timers now) and sat down, only to feel something wet. He looked in his undies and saw a huge pool of blood which also got on the edge of the chair (sadly, it’s material so will be working on that stain). I saw the small red spot where the blood had come from, jumped online and found your article at the top. I read this to him, so he feels a lot better, except for the worry that while he’s helping his brother put up the roof to a new shed, it might pop again. So, is laser the only way to assure this won’t happen again?

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  12. Whew, thanks for posting this! I was getting dressed this morning and felt something wet when I put my underwear on. I figured I somehow didn’t dry down south very well. However, I looked down and saw blood all over my scrotum and leg – awesome! I rushed back to the bathroom and started the cleanup process. I think I actually found the piece of skin that came off which was a nice bonus 🙂 Had my wife come up and help…what a start to the day. Then heard an audio clip that a local morning radio show plays once in a while, “Oh my balls!” Perfect.

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    1. Greg, my MD had not heard of this before, mind you I got one that was pretty wet behind the ears and I made my trip to Italy and have continued my active lifestyle with no further issues. It scares the hell out of you but so far this has been a one of situation. touch wood, Rick, from Sept/12

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  13. Boy was I relieved seeing the story from Dr. McHugh and then following up with reading all the replies. Really a scaring experience! It’s now 5:00 AM, I’ve been awake since 4:00AM.
    My wife has Parkinson’s along with a 2 hour bladder. I set an alarm for every 2-3 hours all night long to get her into the bathrom. I was getting her back into bed when I felt something wet in my PJ’s. I have a Urestomy and wear a bag. I was sure it was leaking somehow as this has happened twice in the past 20 years. Upon inspecting my pajama crotch it was deep red and I was bleeding like a stuck pig. Having no eyes to see from the bottom up I was petrified as to where it was coming from. I searched quickly for a mirror and eventually had to take a small one off the wall. Wow!! Was it a shock to see blood coming through the skin of the scrotum. I usually do coagulate within a short time. Thankfully it did stop when I held a wad of toilet paper tightly against it for some time.
    About three months ago, (again one of the middle of the night calls) I discovered my urine bag full of blood. I had never seen a drop in there in twenty years. The next morning I went to the Dr. and he ordered a Cat Scan which revealed a kidney stone in my left kidney. The Dr. decided it was best to leave it alone and let nature take it’s course for the present. In the past three months I have not seen a drop of blood in the bag and luckily have had no pain. The Urologist scheduled me to come back in three months. Ironically my appointment is for tomorrow morning at 10:45, just about 6 hours from now. Since he had told me there are things called “silent kidney stones” which can be passed without any feeling I”m hoping that another Cat Scan will show it gone.
    Now I’d like to go back to bed, however I’m sure the fear of the bleeding starting up again will keep me awake.
    I just made a great discovery. Because of my wife’s bladder problem she wears items called “Protective Shields with Buttons” to bed. They are very absorbent. The package says “One size fits most” “fits waists up to 60 inches” We are both 87 years old. My wife is 118lbs and I am 185lbs. I just put one on and although it looks terribly feminen it fits absolutel perfect. Nite, nite.

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  14. The simple solution to this type of profuse scrotal bleeding is to dry the area with a paper towel and then apply alum powder (available at any pharmacy) sprinkled thickly on another folded paper towel to the area and leave it there. The bleeding will stop in less than ten minutes.

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  15. This has happened to me twice. The first time I didn’t realize what was going on. I felt like the inside of my pants was wet, but assumed it was just an illusion. When I was undressing that evening, I saw lots of blood on the inside of my pant leg, but couldn’t find a cut on my leg, so assumed it was one of life’s imponderable mysteries.

    It happened again this morning (about a year later) when I was drying off after my bath. I cleaned it up with toilet paper, and applied a band-aid. It seems to have worked so far, but I assume from all the talk of pinching and capos that it will fail. Why won’t a band-aid work?

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  16. Well I have read all the stories and no-one mentions any itching….thus scratching….then possible bleeding! I have always known itching was sign of healing. But my question is healing of what?? It ‘s like a mosquito bite type of itch. Anyway, in reading about the “capo”…lmao ! As a help to you all here in the NY area we have .99€ stores. Some of hem have odds and ends for the dyi nut. One item is a package of 4-5 very small plastic clamps..cheap junk but it it would sure fit the bill…..capo hahahaha! Well if your in a “pinch” heehee you can look for your guitar, I guess. Oh BTW I have found of you LIE DOWN it is easier to stop thqe bleeding and keep the pressure on…less tireing.
    Good luck!

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  17. I was about to go hunting for a clothes pin when I found this. I’m very happy you took the time to write your story. It’s good to laugh about it but also the amount of time to apply pressure was critical info!

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  18. Husband sent me a text while at work this morning to casually ask how to get blood stains out of his shorts. He’s got three areas that are seeping from what we can tell. I found this post and sent it to him. If he applies pressure and doesn’t move around too much things seem to be ok. We’re still trying to get things under control. Great post Dr. McHugh. We are ranchers, and like you, you deal with it the best you can and life goes on. You’d fit right into country life with that sense of humor!

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  19. Hilarious story. Thank you for your candidness. They say uro and ortho guys have pretty similar personalities, judging from the ingenuity I would say we must.
    I tried everything to stop a recent one that I nicked while trimming the hedges, except a guitar capo of course (although I do have one and didn’t think of it!). I tried the pressure (looked too often, admittedly), I tried the ice, I tried more pressure, I didn’t have a styptic pencil on me so I tried every type of cream or lotion to no avail (did manage to squirt a half a tube of one of the creams across the bathroom right into my wife’s face accidentally though to add to the hilarity of the situation!), eventually saran wrapped a bunch of tissue s around my junk and put on some compression shorts to hold constant pressure. That worked for bit, but upon removing it, it started up again.
    Eventually, several hours into the debacle and late for a dinner that we were supposed to go to with 2 young kids who were whining at the bathroom door about the delay, I told my wife to dig up my stitch kit from the basement and to her horror I cleaned it up and put a stitch across it and stopped the damn bleeding once and for all! Drastic times call for drastic measures I said, and my wife is now convinced that I am one seriously tough MF for stitching my own scrotum without any lidocaine (couldn’t find it)! This is a totally ridiculous experience that is worth sharing, and what better forum. I am hoping that it won’t start up again at the removal of sutures, but given my experience thus far I am almost expecting it. If so, then I’ll probably break down and get it addressed with the pros.
    (PS: Some would also rightly call me stupid for doing this, and I don’t recommend this method for anyone else without surgical experience as serious infections can arise from this invasive treatment. I am monitoring the area closely and will quickly treat any signs of early infection)

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  20. Im 83 and I have had this problem for at least 5 years. My dermatologist said that the best way to prevent it from reoccurring is to use Cerave ointment on the scrotum daily,which I have been doing. The problem, still exists but it still happens about every 6-9 months which is extremely annoying because your never sure when or where it might happen. I.m going to see a urologist today and see if he can suggest any permanent solution to this problem….

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  21. Hey John…i woke up a little while ago and found one of these little spots on my scrotum and i thought it was an ingrown hair or something so i began squeezing and scraping at it. Of course it started bleeding profusely. I couldnt get it to stop. I did the pressure and peek method and of course it was still bleeding every time. Then i finally decided to keep pressure on for a while. Thank God its 230am and i have nowhere to be…but what makes this funny is i searched the internet after bleeding stopped to find out what it was. It looked as though there was a tiny vein running right below it. Well i finally came across ur post which thankfully answered my question and gave me a chuckle. The funny thing is…squeezed on the towel rod in my bathroom is a capo that my daughter found in my guitar case and clipped there because shes taking guitar lessons in school and needs one for class tomorrow. I happened to remember it being there and thought how ironic is that? Anyway…thanks for the info and the laugh.

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  22. So, my story of the bleeding is about the same. I was getting ready for a job interview. I had an hour to get ready and be there. I thought, no problem its not that far away. I am standing at the bathroom sink after my shower and see blood on my hand. Searching around to find the source and looked at the carpet below my feet to see blood droplets all over leading back into the shower. I had blood all down my legs and feet. When I got to the origin I was amazed at the amount of blood from such a tiny spot. I applied pinch pressure for a few minutes, found a square bandage and some band aids. I thought for sure I was going to be late for my interview. I had a couple of jock straps in my top drawer from my vasectomy. That was the pressure required. Some square bandage and a tight fitting athletic supporter. Wish I had a stipic pencil. I made it to the interview on time and it is looking good for the job.

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  23. Dear friends, I have the same experience;;;;; but I want to share my successful experiment with the problem. I have faced same type of bleeding for four times. First time I patiently pressed the area for about 15 minutes so it stopped automatically. Then I waited for about half an hour to consolidate the clotting. Second time it bleed and automatically clotted un-noticed. I came to know about it when I checked my underwear.
    Third time I spent a lot of time but it did not stop. Then I hold the skin stretched using my figure from below. (figure- hind layer of skin- bleeding layer). When I pressed from below the bleeding stopped and I could see the small hole which was bleeding. The pressure from below stopped the blood flow and bleeding stopped. Then I applied a very small drop of feviquick brand adhesive right on the hole. It was not causing any severe pain but a little irritation. (Please check the net about this product) this plastic-gum is used for quick bonding of broken plastic objects. It joins and dries itself within five seconds. Remarkably, it worked and bleeding stopped instantly.
    Again after about one year I again used it successfully – with confidence. Now I keep feviquick at my home in my refrigerator because its self-life is short which dries even if it is not opened. Caution: the solvent in the product melts sown the skin just like the plastic surface on which it is applied. So use it carefully. Use a very small droplet of it – do not use more. A second cote after some time may be tried. Cover the area with soft cotton for a day or two to keep it safely intact. My shin under it grows automatically and covers the fissure and releases the adhesive after about two days. I AM NOT A DOCTOR – SO IT IS NOT AN EXPERT ADVICE—I AM WRITING IT FROM MY EXPERIENCE FOR OTHER’S KNOWLEDGE. PLEASE USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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  24. I have a very dear friend who has the problem. I’m concerned because he went to the doctor at the Cleveland clinic & they told him there was nothing they could do for him.
    I am tired of hearing from friends and family members that the doctor said there’s ing they can do.
    If there’s something that can help, PLEASE let me know.
    He’s not He’s 72. Very clean person.
    Thank you for your help.

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  25. Bitt50…….woke up this morning with the alarm at 3:30. As I was getting out of bed felt something moist. Pulled down cover all the way and found a big bloodyspot on the sheets. Standing there I felt a drip on my foot, looked down to see blood drop. Checked things out with hand and got a bloody hand back. Woke wife and told her (scared her). Then went to the bathroom with a wad of paper towels to further explore. Well she came in to help. Found the problem and asked her to get a piece of ice. Worked great, a little crazy cold but bleeding stopped in about 2 minutes. No work today going to make an appointment with the Doc. Want to see if anything else needs to be done. This was my first experience with this and really don’t want another. Bloody mess!

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  26. I’ve had about 8 of these episodes in my life, starting in my 20s. My condition is that there’s more veins on mine than normal (my doc says) probably due to an injury in that area at age 20. My bleeding isn’t as much as I read here but still leaves a spot around the size of a silver dollar and is still surprising. I’m 57 now and have had no troubles connected with it other than the inconvenience.
    I was out pulling the grand kids on sleds with a 4 wheeler in the field yesterday and last night had a blood spot again. So I think it has to do with an activity that jostles that thing around and veins that are close to the surface of the sac.

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  27. I’m so thankful to have found this forum. My husband has dealt with this problem a few times. While he has never worried about it being anything serious, my mind told me he is dying and he won’t go to a Dr. about it. He just put a clothespin on it and goes about his day. Now I feel relieved I’ll have him for a long time to come.

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  28. I have had this 15-20 years. From experience, I suspect that when I sit at my desk for extended periods of time in the evening, there is some extra pressure and warmth in that area that I think softens the skin. Then, if I am not careful drying off from my evening shower, the towel will abrade one of those little things, and I bleed for a while. I wear brief, not boxer, and I could – ahem – stand to lose some weight; these may be factors. Usually a pad of tissue placed there will let it clot in a few minutes. It’s an annoyance, but worse things can happen to a guy. I am thankful I don’t bleed like some of you do. A clothespin? Ouch!

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  29. This has been good reading. I run into this problem every few months since I turned 45, and use a slight variation of the clothespin method. I found at my local flower shop a small plastic “clothespin” used for attaching balloons to.. whatever. The pressure area is circular, about .5 inch across and the single loop spring could be unbent slightly to reduce the clamping to a “comfortable” level. The plastic is washable and stays clean, and now that I know this might happen, I keep one in my bathroom and in my travel bag. For me, a small pad of tissue or bandage material held with the clip usually works in about 10-15 minutes. Leaving it alone, and not messing with it when the clip is removed seems to be key. I have not tried including Alum to the process, but I may try that now, as today I have had one break open. Good luck all.

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  30. Update on my nads… Today the method of using a plastic clip had not worked over the course of a few hours, so I went the superglue route.
    What I did: Clean, dry and gently stretch the afflicted section, apply pressure from underneath so that the bleeding stops. Dab clean and dry again and apply a small drop of super glue (cyanoacetate glue) over the break in the skin. I used a folded piece of tissue to work the glue over the area, then laid a piece of tissue on the wet glue. Let the glue and tissue dry for a moment, and then gently tear back the tissue leaving only the small bit that is now hardened with glue. Allow to dry/cure, then slowly release pressure allowing blood flow back to the area. If it holds, put a small bit of tape or a band aide over your new addition to protect the “repair”. If it didn’t work, gently peel off the glue paper patch, clean up and try again.

    This is my second time using glue, last time I left the glue on until it came off on it’s own, about 24 hours later.

    Please note, I am not a doctor, so try this at your own peril. It works pretty well.

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  31. First episode here. The basic shower scenario. Used paper towels with pressure to stop the bleeding. Made it to work on time.

    Note: Strenuous exercise for the first time in a while the night before.

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  32. Your article helped me. Thank you! I had never had any episode like this before.

    Yesterday, I had a similar experience. In the morning, I took a shower, put on a pair of shorts and went downstairs to make coffee in my bare feet. After a few minutes, I noticed blood all over the floor. I checked the bottom of my feet, thinking that I had stepped on a piece of glass. All good. No cuts.
    Then, I noticed drops of blood on the top of my feet. What the ***? I pulled down my shorts and saw that I had blood on the inside of my thighs. Then, I saw it – my scrotum had a single, bleeding pimple of sorts!
    I applied pressure with a paper towel and it would slow. When I released the pressure, I bled again. OMG!
    So, I too, (without having read your article yet) grabbed a potato chip clip and clamped in on over the paper towel. It did not hurt and it worked.
    When I got upstairs, I told my wife what was going on. She said that there was blood all over my shower towel. I did saw it when I showered.
    I got dressed, chip clip and all, and went to work.
    Four hours later, when I had the nerve to check, the bleeding had stopped.
    When I took a shower at night, nothing happened. Today, all is still well.

    Yesterday, once I had calmed down enough to Google my issue, I read your article. It was informative and reassuring. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  33. The first time, scared the heck out of me. Today, the second time a year or so later, not so scary. I walked to the kitchen, holding a wash cloth between my legs, and got some crushed ice from the freezer, wrapped it in another wash cloth and held it against my bleeding sac. Stopped pretty quick. I’m a widow, and worry about it happening again when I’m with a willing lady-friend, but I guess I’ll just wait until it happens to do whatever fix is necessary.

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  34. hahaha! I am sitting here typing with a wad of toilet tissue in my very blood stained underpants(ran out of tissues hours ago). I pleaded with my wife for sympathy but she glanced at the soaked tissues and said: “Ha!! Not even one hour’s worth of heavy period”. So much for sympathy!. I am at the age where aspirin 100mg is essential and I wont stop it for some trivial bleed…err 8 hours later and the toilet rolls are thinning out and my supply of replacement garments is bottoming(all others are soaking in cold water). Yes I consider a clothing peg for pressure but my spouse threatens to ring all of her female friends and laugh with them at the mere male fear of a small bleed.
    Now when I bled all over the toilet floor she expressed concern but I think that it was for the floor and not me. Okay I will use the bloody peg and see what happens. I am so tempted to just cauterize the wound but all I have at home is a soldering iron. Hmm I will think about this!

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  35. I cauterized it. I am not certain that I will be able to handle cooked meat for a week or so. Talk about “long pig crackly”???She had the nerve to ask was I up cooking pork at 0300 !??! Mind you, she was just as difficult when I first met her at 14, 56 years ago. I never learn!

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