Some medications are administered by injecting them directly into the penis, which is known as penile injection. The guide below will let you know what items you need to give yourself a penile injection, how to perform the injection, what to do with the used syringe when you are done and more.
Items Needed to Give a Penile Injection
- The correct size needle and syringe
- Vial of medication
- Alcohol wipes
- Sharps container
- Optional: You may want to use gloves for your protection
How to Prepare for a Penile Injection
- Wash your hands well with soap and water, then dry them completely
- Prepare the medication, if needed. (If you need to fill the syringe, you can learn how in our article How to Give an Intramuscular Injection)
- Sit or stand in a comfortable position in a warm, well-lit room. If you need to, sit or stand in front of a mirror
- Find an injection site on one side of your penis, in a place with no visible veins. (Don’t inject into the top, bottom or head of the penis)
- Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe (pictured below) and let dry
How to Inject Medication Into Your Penis
- Rest your penis against your inner thigh. Grasp the head of your penis firmly with your thumb and forefinger (don’t just pinch the skin). Stretch the penis gently toward your knee so the skin on the shaft is taut. Don’t twist or rotate it. This way, you’ll be sure to inject the medication into the spot you chose and cleaned before
- Hold the syringe between your thumb and fingers, like you’re holding a dart. Rest your forearm on your thigh for support
- Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle with the shaft near the base of the penis. Do this quickly to reduce discomfort. The needle should go in easily. If it doesn’t, stop right away
- Move your thumb to the plunger. Press down to inject the medication, counting to five as you do
- Remove the needle and dispose of the syringe safely. (More information on proper syringe disposal is below)
View a printable version of Penile Self Injection Instructions.
How to Gain an Erection After a Penis Injection
- Apply pressure to the injection site for a few minutes while massaging your penis. This prevents swelling and bruising and helps spread the medication
- Stand up. This may help your erection develop. Foreplay often helps too
Your penis should become firm within 10 to 20 minutes. The erection will last long enough for sex and maybe longer.
How to Dispose of Used Syringes
You can purchase a sharps container, which is a hard-plastic container made especially for used syringes and needles, at your local pharmacy. If you did not purchase this container with your medication, you can use a hard-plastic container with a screw-on top, such as a clothing softener bottle or hard-plastic detergent bottle. Make sure you can easily put both the syringe and the needle into the container.
Regardless of which container you choose, make sure that needles cannot break through the sides, bottom or top.
Contact your healthcare provider or your local pharmacy about how to properly dispose of used syringes and needles. You can also visit safeneedledisposal.org.
What to Talk to Your Doctor About
Ask how often you can safely repeat injections, as well as any other questions you may have. You and your healthcare provider will talk about follow-up exams and how to get supplies. If the medication doesn’t work or stops working over time, tell your healthcare provider.
Notes About Penile Self-Injections
- You may feel a mild burning sensation during injection. This is OK, but if you feel pressure or severe pain, stop the injection. There may be a problem with the injection site
- Only inject the medication into the side of your penis. The medication may not work if injected elsewhere
- To prevent scarring, inject in a different spot each time
- Don’t use this treatment if you have a bleeding disorder or any risk of infection
- Get medical help right away if your erection lasts longer than two to three hours
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you experience:
- An erection that lasts longer than two to three hours
- Bleeding or bruising
- Severe pain
- Scarring or curvature of the penis
Anatomy of an Erection
To produce an erection, the brain, nerves, blood vessels and hormones all must work together. The result is extra blood flowing into the penis and staying there until after orgasm (climax). The penis is made up of spongy tissue filled with blood vessels. When stimulated, the blood vessels relax and expand. This brings blood into the penis. The tissue swells and becomes firm enough for sex.
- Spongy tissue