Are there any sports for which guys should wear genital protection? I got hit in the thigh with a fast ball. It left a big purple bruise and just missed my right nut. Should I be wearing a jockstrap and cup? A few guys do, but more don’t.

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This is a great question! As you probably have realized, there is a lot more information out there about the use of other protective equipment such as helmets and eyewear than there is about what kind of equipment guys should use to protect their genitals. This is surprising since significant injuries to the penis, testicles or close by areas, can definitely affect a male’s future fertility and/or cause problems with the urinary system (trouble passing urine, etc).

Although there are no clear rules for using jockstraps/cups by medical organizations, protection is recommended. So what does this mean? It all comes down to common sense and what your coach might recommend. For example: If you play a sport that puts you at risk for getting a baseball, puck, football, or other object to your groin area, it makes total sense to wear a jockstrap/cup. Most goalies and catchers wear cups when they play because they are at a very high risk for groin injuries however, all players are at risk.

Getting used to wearing a cup takes time (that’s why a lot of guys don’t use them) but they do protect the family jewels. Since you already got hit by a ball close to your genitals, you are at risk for a genital injury, so wearing a jockstrap/cup makes sense. Maybe you’ll start a trend among your teammates. Thanks for your question. This is an important issue that needs more public awareness and recommendations by medical and sports organizations.