A penile fracture is defined as a tear in the tunica albuginea and either corpus cavernosum or both. The tunica albuginea is the rubbery health of tissue present below the skin, allowing the penis to increase its size to produce a firm erection.
In some cases, the erectile tissue present beneath the tunica albuginea also ruptures. This is called the corpus cavernosum.
A penile fracture is a medical emergency. If it happens, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible and may require surgery.
In such cases, quick treatment can help prevent permanent sexual and urinary complications.
What Are The Symptoms Of Penile Fracture?
After getting fractured, in case you take a sharp blow to the genitals, your penis may get sored or bruised. Penile fracture is a more severe injury than it seems. You may start experiencing the following symptoms in case of penile fractures, such as:-
- Audible snapping or popping sound
- Sudden loss of erection
- Severe pain at the site of injury
- Difficult while urination
- Dark bruising above the injured area
- Bent penis
- Blood leaking from penis
What Causes Fracture Of The Penis?
Sudden trauma or bending of the penis causes the breaking of the tunica albuginea, leading to penile fracture. The erectile tissue present beneath the tunica albuginea may also get ruptured.
These twin bodies (tunica albuginea) of spongy tissues fill with blood during an erection. After breaking these tissues, the sufficient amount of blood does not flow through it, making it flaccid.
A fracture can also damage the urethra, a channel in the penis through which the urine flows. Therefore, after fracture, men also start experiencing difficulty while urinating.
There are some of the common causes of penile fractures, such as:-
- Forceful bending of the penis at the time of vaginal intercourse.
- A sharp blow to the erect penis while falling, car accident, or any other mishappenings
- Traumatic masturbation can also be a cause of penile fracture
The most common cause of penile fracture is a sexually active man in trauma during sexual intercourse.
How Is A Penile Fracture Diagnosed?
The doctor can confirm your fracture of the penis after examining and discussing the injury. In case the doctor wants to know more about the situation or have some uncertainty, he may suggest an imaging study done. Examination through imaging studies for penile injuries includes:-
- Cavernosography, a special X-ray, requires injecting a special dye into the blood vessels of the penis.
- An ultrasound of the penis in which the internal structure of the penis is shown in the form of an image with sound waves.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a scanner that uses a magnetic field and radio-energy pulses to fetch detailed images of the inside portion of the penis
The doctor may also ask for special urinary tests to check in case the urethra has been damaged. This is because 38% of men with penile fractures also have damaged urethra.
A standard test in which a dye is injected into the urethra through the penis' tip and taking an X-ray. This indicates any damage or abnormalities the surgeon will need to know about when you undergo a repair.
Can Penile Fracture Be Fixed?
Usually, Penile fractures need surgery in which the surgeon will stitch the tear in the tunica albuginea and corpus cavernosum. The main motive of treatment is to restore or maintain your ability to have erections and preserve urinary function.
After surgery, you will be asked to remain hospitalized, typically for one to three days. The doctor may prescribe pain medication and antibiotics. Try to take them on time as directed by your doctor.
The fracture will take months to heal completely after the surgery. It would be best if you had regular checkups and possibly imaging studies to:
- Examine the veins and arteries of the penis
- Examine the healing process
- Assess blood flow
You will be advised not to perform sexual intercourse for at least a month after the operating. Consult with the doctor about the things that will help you to assist in healing the injury.
Surgery was found beneficial in more than 90% of the cases, says the trusted source. Some men may also experience side effects even after the surgery or after the repair, such as erectile dysfunction, the penis' curvature, and painful erections. But such cases are sporadic.
Is There Any Way To Prevent Penile Fracture?
In most cases, fracture of the penis caused by sex can be prevented in case your partner is merely aware of the penile fracture. Most often, penile fracture occurs during the position- women on top.
As your partner has a weight(heavy), which is directly applied to the penis. In case your penis is stiff and slips from your partner's vagina, stop the thrusting immediately. Not doing so can damage the erectile tissue of the corpus callosum, leading to penile fracture.
In case your penis gets fractured, consult with the doctor immediately, go to your local emergency services. The fracture will start to heal soon after the 24 hours of surgery.
After the penis surgery, men usually regain the ability to have erections and report overall satisfaction with their sex life.
In order to avoid further penile injuries, make sure there is adequate lubrication during sexual intercourse. But be careful during vigorous or “hard” penetrative intercourse.
Also, avoid wearing tight underwear, and sudden force exerted on an erect penis could cause injury, major or minor.