A rarely heard of injury that can and will affect a certain portion of the male population is something known as "penile fracture." And as you can probably tell from the name alone, this isn't too pleasant of an experience! Although there still is some debate over the exact frequency of incidence, there is no doubt that the severity of this injury is enough to warrant some extra study. Here we'll take a look at what penile fracture actually is, how it occurs and ways to possibly avoid this painful affliction.
What Is Penile Fracture?
Although the term 'fracture' is most often used in association with some sort of crack or break in a material (like bone or cartilage), in the case of penis fracture it is a bit of a misnomer. As you're probably already aware, the penis does not contain bone. The process by which it becomes 'hard' is entirely regulated by blood flow and pressure. When blood flows inside the chambers of the penis pressure begins to build and this is what creates an erection. It is during the erect state when an injury of this type can occur.
Penile fracture is defined as a blunt trauma to the fully erect or semi-erect penis. Scientifically speaking, the injury occurs when the tissue of the tunica albuginea (which is as thin as .25-.50 mm during erection as compared with 2 mm during flaccidity) is over-stretched by a sudden increase in intracorporal pressure. Most often the resultant injury is a rupture of the tunica albuginea and one of the corpora cavernosa, although instances that involve both corpora, corpus spongiosum and urethra have also been reported.
How Does It Occur?
The most common cause of penis fracture is sexual intercourse. If a man thrusts too hard and fast during sex he may accidentally slam his penis into his partner's pubic bone which could result in an extreme bending of the erection. It could also happen in a sex position where the woman is moving around wildly while on top of the man.
Other possible scenarios that are not quite as common include masturbation, rolling over onto an erect penis during sleep or any other sort of blunt trauma such as a fall onto the erect or semi-erect penis. When the injury occurs, an audible 'pop' or 'snap' can usually be heard, the penis will turn black and blue and the pain will be excruciating.
How often this trauma occurs among men is still not clear. While most agree that it is not a common injury, some researchers doubt the value of previous diagnostic investigations and conclude that "penile fracture is not rare". Either way, it remains a very real and present danger to all men.
Conservative and Surgical Treatment
When this type of injury is sustained, men are advised to seek immediate medical attention. Without proper treatment, patients could be exposed to persistent haematoma (localized swelling of blood), infections, deformity of the penis, long-term erectile dysfunction and more. Which method of treatment to undergo is still somewhat of a controversy.
In the past a conservative approach was more often employed which involved "urethral catheterization, compression bandages and consistent cooling, combined with anti-inflammatory, anti-erectile, antibiotic and analgesic therapy". However, "retrospective analysis of this conservative treatment showed severe immediate and late complications, in addition to prolonged hospitalization of the patient."
Nowadays most professionals recommend an immediate surgical treatment of the penile trauma to reduce complications and restore function more rapidly. Early surgery has been shown to result in "shorter hospitalization, less morbidity and an early return to full sexual activity." Furthermore, this type of treatment is currently endorsed by the World Health Organization; "On the basis of the high success rates with surgical treatment, the WHO recommends that all acute injuries to the tunica albuginea be repaired immediately by surgical intervention."
Source: British Journal of Surgery
Steps To Preventing Fracture
In some instances such as those that occur during sleep, the injury may be unavoidable. Fortunately those sort of injuries don't happen as frequently. I also imagine that most men aren't at risk of falling on an erection unless they are predisposed to running around while naked and "excited."
Sex on the other hand is an all too real danger. You should always be careful and mindful of your love making. It's easy to get carried away in the passion of the moment and lose control. You need to stay aware of where your penis is during the act and be ready to stop or make adjustments if you sense any discomfort or pain. And slow down for Pete's sake (Peter's sake!)... you've only got one penis in this life so make sure you take good care of it!
Posted by PRS
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
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