The words, ‘breaking the penis’ or ‘penile fracture’ could presuppose that the human penis contains some bones that sustain erection when it is turgid. But that is not true. According to scientists and medical experts, the human penis is the only one that does not have bones, unlike other mammals that have bones (known as baculum) in their penis.
Instead of bones, what holds the penis close to the pubic bone and supports it when erect are known as ligaments. And regardless of the fact that it does not have bones, the penis is still capable of breaking, even if not into two equal parts. It may not be a very common occurrence, but it happens anyway.
What then happens when people have penile fracture? Experts say it happens when a membrane, called tunica albuginea, tears or ruptures, and when it happens, the person tends to lose erection.
According to a urologist, Dr. Darius Paduch, “The fracture isn’t like what you understand about breaking your ankle or forearm. It’s a tear in the part of the penis called the tunica albuginea.”
A report by UK Telegraph
in 2015 showed that as of January of that year, there were only 1,600 cases in the world and the first case was reported in 1924.
However, being something that can truncate the sexual ability of such a man, coupled with the fact that it comes with severe pains, it is important to identify the causes and how to avoid it.
According to experts, the commonest cause of penile fracture is woman-on-top position (better known as cowgirl) during sexual intercourse. In this case, the woman is seemingly in control as the ‘action’ takes place at her pace. Given that the penis is already erect, any sharp bend especially when the woman leans back towards the man’s legs, could make the penis bend in a non-subtle manner and then tear the fibrous membrane that envelopes the corpora cavernosa, which is a pair of sponge-like regions of erectile tissue that contains most of the blood in the penis during an erection.
According to some sex therapists, penile fracture could also happen during aggressive vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse. Some studies have also shown that penile fracture could happen when the penis has low sensitivity or during an extramarital affair, because of anxiety and it is often done in a rush, sometimes in places that are not comfortable.
Other causes of penile fracture include violent masturbation, hitting the penis against a hard surface when erect and falling off onto the floor when erect.
In any of these, when it happens, there is a cracking sound and that is it; excruciating pains begin and the person loses erection.
Paduch told BuzzFeed Life that what happens during penile fracture could be likened to what happens when one puts a hole in a balloon. He added, “If you have a hole in the balloon, you aren’t going to be able to inflate it.
“With a real penile fracture, you will immediately experience a popping sound and then lose the erection right away – exactly like you would if you put a hole in the balloon. The blood, instead of going through the veins and arteries, is going to be sitting out under the skin, so you’re going to have a bruise at the base of the penis.”
These imply that when there is penile fracture, apart from the fact that the person would be unable to use it for intercourse; talking of compulsory sex vacation, the person would also be in pains. Thus, there is need to see a doctor, or specifically a urologist, who could advise an (emergency) operation or use ice packs.
Beyond the fact that people are advised to be careful with that region when the penis is erect, experts say people who break their penis should speak out to prevent avoidable complications.
Paduch said, “The person needs to see a urologist within 24 hours, because all studies show that if he’s seen in 24 hours, then the outcomes are excellent. If you wait, the tear will heal as a scar.”