Broken arrows: karma or coincidence?

    Sex outside of marriages, and apparently outside of a bed, may be increasing the risk of penile fractures.

    A new study has found that unconventional situations and unusual settings surrounding sexual acts are causing penis fractures. Dr. Andrew Kramer, study researcher and urologist at the University of Maryland, said, “ In such atypical situations, sex may be rushed and involve unusual or awkward sexual positions.

    "All these factors could make the man less able to protect his penis from an unexpected sudden downward thrust leading to the fracture," he continued.

    Though there are no bones in the penis, a “broken penis” or penile fracture refers to the tearing or laceration of a fibrous membrane called the tunica albuginea, which surrounds the spongy tissue in the center of the penis. This fracture is followed by hemorrhaging, swelling and loss of erection. 

    Previous research has focused on the physiological mechanism of the facture, and how to surgically treat it. No study has looked at exactly what men were doing when they broke their penises.

    Kramer’s goal was to solve the mystery. Men in the study who had suffered penis fractures commonly were having sex in usual settings—including in restrooms or at work — when the injury occurred. The majority were having extramarital affairs. Only three patients were having sex with their own wives in their own bedrooms, Kramer revealed.

    Kramer studied 16 cases of penile fractures treated at the University of Maryland Hospital between 2004 and 2011. He reported the findings in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.



    —Ciara Smith




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