A Broken Penis – it can happen.
This morning I had a young man from Toronto on to me. I’ll call him Tony for now. Toney’s story was particularly tragic. What made it all the more so was the feeling that I could not do much to help him. Aged 36 now he related the story of how he had been in an abusive marriage up to eight years ago when he became divorced. Towards the end of this traumatic period of his life Tony became so frustrated and angry that once, while masturbating, he made some particularly violent movement with his erect penis. I will let him take up the story here:
“While masturbating I made a sudden sideward’s manoeuvre with my erect penis. I can’t really remember the exact details of what happened but whatever it was, I do remember hearing and feeling something snap deep within my penis back towards my testicles. There was sudden pain and my erection disappeared before I ejaculated. Ever since then the quality of my erections are very poor”
Now, when I heard this story, perhaps because I have heard similar ones before, it immediately occurred to me that Tony was in some considerable trouble. He said he heard and felt something snap within his penis. His erection disappeared and he felt pain. To me immediately this could only mean one thing. Tony had damaged or broken a structure within his penis called the “tunica Albuginea”. This is the strong membrane that lines the chambers that holds the blood in the penis to give an erection. It is a strong membrane but it is not impervious to injury.
That was eight years ago. At the time of the accident Tony did nothing about it. This of course is all too understandable. He was embarrassed and angry. Some weeks later, mainly because his erections did not return and he was worried Tony went to his GP, told him his story and was, correctly in my view, referred to an urologist. But this is where his luck really ran out altogether. The urologist that Tony consulted opined that his erectile dysfunction was “all in his head” and offered no further advice.
Years rolled by during which Tony was having considerable difficulty getting any erections at all and during which he consulted a further two urologists. Amazingly, they both held the same erroneous opinion that his problem was all “psychological”. It beggars belief that two consultants, on hearing this man’s story of something “snapping” within his penis, did not twig the diagnosis or take any measures to diagnose a fractured penis properly.
It was not until yesterday, through Internet consultation with me that Tony, for the first time in eight years finally heard the true story of what happened all those years ago. I am telling this story, not to show how clever I am because in truth the diagnosis should have been obvious to any doctor. I’m telling it as a very salutary tale and a warning and it is this: If you hear something snap within your penis, or your partner thinks he hears something snap within his penis while up to some sexual high jinks, then please treat this immediately as an emergency. Treated in time a fractured penis can be repaired. Left for a few hours and it may be too late.