Physical Exam: Males

Good topic. I think this is something a lot of guys worry about, but are afraid to talk about. My worst fear about going to the doctor has always been that I will get an erection during the exam. I’m 19 and in college now, but I’ve played sports all through school so of course that means I’ve had a sports physical every year since I was about 13 and in the 7th grade. As most guy know, a hernia check is almost always included in any sports physical. A hernia check is conducted by the doctor holding the testicles and/or pushing a finger up under the testicles and having the patient cough so they can feel for weakness in the groin area. Needless to say, this can be an embarrassing procedure.

At my first athletic physical at my family doctor (who is male), I had no idea this was going to happen. I was in my underwear and I thought the physical was over when the doc said I could get up off the table. But then the doc told me to drop my shorts and did the hernia check. It kind of surprised me. But at least it was over with quickly and I didn’t get an erection.

I was at my family doc for a sports physical when I was about 14 and a freshman in high school. I’m not sure why, but as soon as I dropped my shorts I started to feel an erection coming on. I think the doctor could tell and he kind of hurried things along and had me cough real quick so I could get my shorts back up. I ended up semi-erect (maybe half way). But the doc didn’t say anything.

I guess I’ve probably had 8 or 9 physicals in my life and that was the only time I even came close to having an erection. I’ve even had a couple of group physicals at school were they run you through the assembly line type thing. Of course one part is where you get line and when you get to the end of the line you drop your shorts for the doctor. I hated those, but at least never got erect in that situation.

Only one of my physicals was with a female doctor. That was last year when I started college. I had to get a physical at the student heath center. It was given by a female medical student from the medical school at the college. That was a bit embarrassing because she probably wasn’t even that much older than me. She was maybe 23 or 24. But it went ok. I was so nervous. I was sure I was going to get an erection. But when it came time to drop my shorts for the hernia check, I didn’t get erect at all.

I’d be interested in hearing from others about their exam experiences. I’d also be curious to hear from doctors. I remember reading somewhere that about 15 percent of male patients become erect during exams, but I’m not sure if this is true.

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