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What Are Saline Injections?

By Jessica F. Black
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Saline injections, a mixture of water and salt, are used for various reasons, including several types of body modifications, acne scar treatment, spider vein treatment, and other procedures. One well known use for this saline mixture is intravenous infusions to re-hydrate patients. Saline mixtures are also sold over the counter as nasal sprays and contact lens cleaner.

This particular body modification process has become increasingly popular and involves inflating several body parts by using saline injections. The most common body parts inflated include the labia and breasts for females or the scrotum and penis for males. Sexual stimulation is generally the motivation for those who participate in this form of body modification, and the scrotum is usually the body part that is most effected. Due to the large number of nerve receptors in the scrotum, saline injections may enhance sexual stimulation and may cause instant sexual gratification. Some males may also directly inject this solution into their testicles for similar purposes.

Females may use saline injections for sexual stimulation and also to increase the size of their breasts. There are males and females who inject this solution into their buttocks for cosmetic purposes, but the enhancement is usually temporary. One of the largest concerns with this practice is infections, and those who practice these methods are usually urged to make sure that the procedure is performed with sterile instruments. Some people opt to perform this procedure at home, but there are various body modification centers that also offer these injections.

The use of saline injections for acne scar treatment is one of the less expensive methods used to correct scarring caused by mild acne. This procedure usually needs to be performed several times over the course of many months and may become costly depending on the severity of the individual's scars. Damaged areas are usually injected with the solution and although the immediate effects are short term, the repeated use may permanently change the contour of the skin.

Spider vein treatment using this method has relatively more success because the injections often shrink the veins and eventually cause them to disappear. There are numerous plastic and reconstructive surgery offices that administer these injections to patients who suffer from overly apparent spider veins. Regardless of the use for saline injections, the interested party should research the effects, pros and cons, and possible dangers of these procedures.

Saline Injection Into the Testicles

The idea of injecting saline into the testicles sounds quite strange. The technical term for this practice is scrotal inflation, which is often classified as fetish or edge play. It's one of the riskier practices in existence.

As mentioned earlier, the primary motives for this are aesthetic and sexual. Most who participate do so out of a desire to temporarily enlarge their testicles. Others are stimulated by the stretching, discomfort and pain sensations that accompany these injections.

Scrotal inflation may be practiced in some power exchange scenarios. In these cases, the dominant party administers saline injections into the submissive's testicles. An alternative method is to hook up a saline bag and insert its IV line into the person's scrotum.

Saline Injection Into the Scrotum

Although they're referred to as saline testicle injections, the substance is actually injected into the scrotum. Also referred to as "scrotal infusion," it involves the introduction of a 500-milligram saline solution warmed to human body temperatures. Whether infusing via syringe injections or an IV line, the process takes about an hour. The recipient's scrotum may increase to two or three times its normal size.

Once the infusion process is complete, the effects don't last very long. That's because the human body can reabsorb the saline solution into its tissues. It usually takes anywhere from two to three days to reabsorb the saline, after which the scrotum returns to its pre-inflation size.

Saline Injection Side Effects

Saline injection into the testicles naturally poses many risks. The scrotum isn't meant to stretch beyond its typical size. Additionally, bacteria can take up residence under the skin and cause major problems. If you're not convinced, keep reading to learn more about saline testicle injection side effects.

Scrotal Cellulitis 

The most common complication from saline scrotal injections is cellulitis, an inflammation of the skin usually caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. On its own, scrotal cellulitis is extremely rare. But saline injections or IVs can introduce rogue bacteria into the region. Besides inflammation, other symptoms can include tenderness, excess warmth, redness and pain.

Fournier's Gangrene

Although scrotal cellulitis is a serious condition, more severe side effects can come from scrotal saline injections. Fournier's gangrene is also caused by a bacterial infection, with symptoms that include pain, swelling and tenderness plus an extremely unpleasant odor. It's classified as a necrotic infection, which means that the bacteria is killing off tissue cells. If untreated, this condition can result in massive tissue loss — not something you want to search for in Google images. In extreme cases, the patient can die.

Scrotal Rupturing

As if cellulitis and Fournier's gangrene aren't enough to scare people off, here's another potential side effect of testicle saline injections: scrotal rupturing. This happens when the scrotum is stretched beyond its limits and can no longer expand. This condition requires urgent medical care to increase the chance of positive treatment outcomes. Again, you probably want to avoid Google images if you plan to research further.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1001766 — On Jun 22, 2019

My girlfriend is a nurse and she injected saline into my scrotum.

By anon996393 — On Aug 23, 2016

Distilled water is lethal, but go for it.

By anon995685 — On May 19, 2016

What takes longer for the body to process, a cosmetic saline injection using a higher percentage saline solution or a lower percentage solution? I'm assuming a .9 % standard saline as the baseline for injection cosmetically but am wondering about .6% saline as would it last longer or not?

By anon995046 — On Mar 27, 2016

What mix of salt and water is needed for spider veins? Boil tap water, use table salt, sea salt? Order solution online then boil? Thanks.

By anon953879 — On May 28, 2014

You could end up with MRSA and other infectious bacterias rotting holes in your flesh causing terrible scarring. It seems a silly thing to risk, especially considering the positive results won't last long. But I'm no doctor. People tormenting their bodies for attention or affection is their own problem.

By anon287264 — On Aug 24, 2012

How much saline can be injected into the testicles directly?

By cardsfan27 — On Jun 04, 2012

The only time I've had a saline injection was when I used to donate blood plasma. Because plasma is basically the water portion of the blood, they replace the lost fluid with saline. Whenever it goes into your arm, it is kind of a weird feeling because the saline is room temperature and colder than your body temperature.

My mother is a nurse, and I remember her telling me that when they were learning how to give shots and hook up IVs that they used saline solution. Because it is much better to practice on other people rather than dummies after a while, they ended up having to take turns injecting each other with saline solution. That way, you get a real-life experience, but the saline doesn't have any effect on the person it's being ejected into.

By matthewc23 — On Jun 04, 2012

@kentuckycat - Be prepared for some major discomfort is you inject yourself with plain water. Saline solution is used because it is very close to the salt concentration of the blood and cellular fluid. If you remember how osmosis works, if you were to inject only water, it would go from an area of high concentration (the injection point) to areas of low concentration (cells and capillaries). The cells right around the injection point would swell very quickly and probably erupt causing bruising. By using the saline solution, it can redistribute itself over a much larger area near the injection point and won't immediately rush into the cells.

As far as the acne treatment goes, I was curious about that, as well. I'm not sure what exactly causes the pock marks of acne scars, but I'm guessing it has something to do with some protein not being present in the area. My guess is that the regular saline injections push out the pock marks and allow the cells to fill in the gaps. Eventually, I suppose the area fills in enough that the scars are gone.

By kentuckycat — On Jun 03, 2012

@jcraig - I was curious about this, too, so I did some research. You are right, the saline is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. Apparently, the results don't last very long, either. Just however long it takes for your body to redistribute the saline into the cells and bloodstream. To be honest, I don't know why anyone would bother with it in the first place.

I understand that there are cosmetic reasons for wanting to have larger breasts, but I don't know what the purpose would be to just have the larger breasts for only a few hours. I'm also curious about the acne scar treatment the article mentions. It sounds like that is a longer-term treatment that ends up being permanent, but how would that work?

Finally, what is the purpose of needing to use saline. Why not just give yourself an injection of distilled water or something?

By jcraig — On Jun 02, 2012

Wow, I never realized there was so much that saline injections could be used for. To be honest, I had never heard of the injections being used for anything besides post-surgery types of treatments.

It sounds like the saline is always used to make areas more "plump." How does it work, though? I'm no expert on breast enlargement, but I was always under the impression that instead of using saline injections for the breasts that they just implanted silicone sacs that contained a saline solution.

I guess the real question here is how does the saline stay in one place? Wouldn't it eventually just start mixing with the blood, and you would end up with the same look you had before the injections? Maybe there is something I'm missing here. Does anyone have any ideas?

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