This Man Fractured His Penis, But Didn't Notice Until 12 Hours Later

Photographed by Megan Madden.
After experiencing swelling in his penis after having sex, a 47-year-old man checked into the emergency room, where doctors confirmed that he had fractured his penis. The patient, according to BMJ Case Reports, had felt a "snapping" sensation during sex, but didn't notice any symptoms until a whole 12 hours later.
Doctors from the University College London Hospital said in the report that the patient, who remained anonymous, even maintained his erection and continued to have sex, only to notice later on that his penis and scrotum were bruised, and that he had blood in his urine.
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"Breaking" a penis, though rare, can happen — even though "breaking" isn't exactly the right word. You can't exactly break a penis since there are no bones in it, but you can fracture it.
"Penile fracture with urethral injury is an uncommon subtype of a rare urological emergency," the report said. "During an erection, the fascia of the erectile bodies (tunica albuginea) is stretched thinly and with a sudden torque during vigorous sexual intercourse this fascia can rupture."
Essentially, when someone with a penis is aroused, blood fills two tube-like bodies inside the penis called the corpora cavernosa, causing an erection. If a penis experiences a lot of force when erect (usually when the person being penetrated is on top), those tubes can tear, causing the fracture — which can come with the popping or "snapping" sensation the patient felt. What's strange about this case, though, is that the patient maintained his erection. Usually, a fracture is followed by immediate loss of erection and swelling, bruising, and intense pain. Perhaps he just had an incredibly high threshold for pain?
According to BMJ, after doctors confirmed that his penis was fractured, the patient was referred to the urology department of the hospital, where he underwent surgery and recovered within two weeks.
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