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Penile Fracture: What You Need to Know About This Condition

Penile Fracture: What You Need to Know About This Condition

A penile fracture is a form traumatic injury that can happen to the penis. Despite being a rare occurrence, it’s still important for men to be aware of what causes this condition, what forms of penile fracture treatments are available, and how to prevent it from happening.

What is a penile fracture?

penile fracture treatment

A penile fracture is a type of injury that stems from physical trauma to an erect penis. It is an extremely rare occurrence. Despite being called a “fracture,” a penile fracture is different because the penis has no bones. Instead, it contains cylinders that get filled with blood during an erection. These cylinders are covered by tough layers of supporting tissues. When enough force is applied to the penis when bending, the covering surrounding these blood-filled cylinders can rupture and cause a penile fracture.

Men who experience a penile fracture feel a sharp pain and hear a popping sound as it happens. Eventually, blood starts to build up in the area where the injury happened, which causes swelling and bruising. Some even experience blood coming out of the urethra.

Penile fractures are serious injuries, and it is important for men to seek treatment for a penile fracture immediately. If the injury is not treated, it can cause serious damage to the penis. Over time, this can cause painful erections, and some men may even have an infection or abscess in their penis.

How does it happen?

7 Most Common Bedroom Injuries During Sex

Penile fractures can occur following sexual intercourse in association with bending of the penis during attempted penetration. This can happen in a number of ways, usually during especially vigorous sexual intercourse. One way it can happen is if a man is thrusting too hard, then his penis accidentally slips out of the vagina and hits the woman’s pelvis. Another is if the man is behind the woman, and the penis also slips out. The usual cause is misaligned penetration.

Aggressive masturbation is also a way that a man can cause a fracture.

Certain cultural beliefs can also cause injury to the penis. In particular, taqaandan, also known as “penile cracking,” is a practice done in some countries to hide an erection or to achieve rapid penile detumescence.

The symptoms of a penile fracture include:

  • Pain in the penis
  • A sharp, popping sound
  • Loss of erection
  • Swelling of the penis
  • Discoloration or bruising

Penile fracture treatments: What options are available?

When it comes to penile fracture treatments, it is important to note that these injuries cannot be treated at home. This is because a penile fracture is a medical emergency. It is necessary to seek medical treatment as soon as possible in order to treat the injury properly. Penile fractures are associated with concomitant urethral injury (the passageway of urine). Medical evaluation is necessary as one in five (20%) of penile fractures have this associated injury.

The most common penile fracture treatment is surgery. Surgical repair of the penis is rarely associated with penile scarring and erectile dysfunction. During the operation, blood clots are removed and any tear in the protective covering is repaired..

After the surgery, a catheter will be placed in the urethra to help with urination. This also makes it easier for the penis to heal. The patient can usually go home after one to two days. Patients are asked to refrain from any sexual activity for about a month so that the penis can heal completely.

How can I prevent a penile fracture?

While penile fractures are rare, it’s still a good idea to take steps to prevent it from happening. Here are some things you can do:

  • Try to avoid vigorous thrusting during intercourse as this can increase the risk of injury for both you and your partner
  • During sex, if the penis slips out, stop for a moment before continuing
  • If the woman is on top, be sure to let her know to be careful, as this position can also cause a fracture
  • Try to avoid vigorous masturbation as this can also put the penis at risk

Key takeaways

Penile fractures are a very real fear for a lot of men. However, by being mindful of what you’re doing during intercourse, you can significantly lower your risk of having this type of injury. If you experience a penile fracture, seek out treatment immediately to avoid future complications.

Learn more about Men’s Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Alteration in the etiology of penile fracture in the Middle East and Central Asia regions in the last decade; a literature review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4518360/, Accessed November 18, 2020

Penis fracture: Is it possible? – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/expert-answers/penis-fracture/faq-20058154, Accessed November 18, 2020Penile

Trauma: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment – Urology Care Foundation, https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/p/penile-trauma, Accessed November 18, 2020

Lessons learned after 20 years’ experience with penile fracture, https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1677-55382020000300409, Accessed November 18, 2020

Penile Fracture: How to Treat a Broken Penis | New Jersey Urology, https://njurology.com/penile-fracture-how-to-treat-a-broken-penis/, Accessed November 18, 2020

Current Treatment Options for Penile Fractures, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472832/, Accessed November 18, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jun 02, 2021
Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD