A TEEN shoved a four-inch-long acupuncture needle up his penis to stop himself falling asleep while doing homework.
His mum became concerned when she noted the boy, 13, "walking unusually slowly" in China, say reports.
Wince-inducing images from Xi'an Children's Hospital show that he had managed to ram the sharp needle deep into his urethra - where it remained for 15 hours before being surgically removed.
The teen, who has not been named, was said to have struggled to know how to confess to his parents in the city of Weinan, capital of north-western China's Shaanxi Province.
His mum told local media: "He was walking unusually slowly, so I told him to speed up, but he kept walking slowly.
"He finally said: 'Mum, I have to tell you something.
"'I kept falling asleep while doing homework, so I tried to wake myself up by putting a needle up my urethra.'
"I asked him why he hadn't told me sooner, and he said: 'I tried to tell you earlier, but I didn't know how to'."
Wang Shengxing, who is deputy head of urology at the hospital, examined the lad after he was referred from a smaller local hospital.
The consultant said: "It hurt when he walked and when he urinated.
"His parents were quite distressed.
"The needle measured 10 centimetres (four inches) and was completely inside his urethra, nearing his bladder.
"He was at risk of infection or bleeding; if it had moved, it could've ruptured his bladder or arteries."