A real nightmare for men – a broken penis. Although the injury is colloquially referred to as a fracture, it is not comparable to a fracture of the arm or leg. Because: Of course there is no bone in the penis. It consists of soft tissues such as connective tissue, vessels and ligaments. “If the spongy body is torn or torn, or if the spongy body, which is heavily supplied with blood, is compressed, we speak of a fracture of the penis,” says urologist Volker Wittkamp. On Instagram and Tiktok he clarifies questions about the male genitalia and urology.

The more appropriate term for this very painful injury is therefore a penis tear. In medicine, this is referred to as a cavernous rupture. When tearing, there may be a cracking sound, the limb becomes slack, and profuse bleeding may occur. “However, the blood does not penetrate to the outside, but accumulates in the penis tissue. The aubergine emoji is often used to symbolize the penis in chats – if a penis fracture occurs, it looks similar,” says the urologist. Means: The penis turns bluish and swells when the erectile tissue ruptures.

The erectile tissue can only tear when the penis is erect. “It happens most often during sexual intercourse – usually by slipping during the in-out movement. The penis can then, for example, bump against the woman’s pubic bone and be compressed. Theoretically, it can also occur during masturbation or when you are with the erect penis comically, result in a penile fracture.”

There are different degrees of severity of a penile fracture. But regardless of the severity, the urologist advises all men who suffer this injury to go to a clinic as soon as possible – ideally this would have a urology ward. “As a first-aid measure, you can try to cool the penis if it breaks. Under no circumstances should aspirin be taken, the painkiller thins the blood and would increase the bleeding,” explains Volker Wittkamp.

In the hospital, an ultrasound and/or MRI will be used to determine the size of the tear. If the penile fracture is only mildly pronounced, it can be cured by tying off and immobilizing it. If it is too pronounced, an operation is necessary – the affected area is sewn up.

Prompt treatment is important to avoid consequential damage: if a penile fracture is treated late or if it is very severe, erectile problems can occur as a result. A curvature of the penis can also occur – for example due to the suture or scarring as a result of an operation, says Volker Wittkamp.

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