Bet You Don't Know These 4 Weird Facts About the Penis
Most men know the common problems, such as the inability to get and keep an erection, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED), that plague penis owners. But ED is just one of a number of conditions and problems that can happen to the penis. Here are four lesser-known penile problems and what can be done to treat them.
Penile fracture is rare, but it can occur. Trauma to an erect penis, which usually happens during sex, can cause a fracture of the penis. A 2014 study in the journal Advances in Urology found that the position most often associated with penile fracture involves the penetrated partner on top. Doggy style, or the man penetrating a partner from behind, was the second most common.
The penis has no bones, so a fracture is different from a normal bone break. When a man gets an erection, the penis has two cylinders, known as the corpora cavernosa, that fill with blood. If the erect penis is forcefully bent, the outer lining of one of the cylinders, known as the tunica albuginea, can rupture, resulting in a penile fracture.
Common signs and symptoms of penis fracture include:
- Popping or cracking sound
- Severe pain
- Sudden loss of erection
- Dark bruising
- Blood leaking from the penis
- Bent penis
- Swelling in the penile shaft
A penis fracture needs immediate medical attention and is diagnosed with a physical exam. Surgical repair is often recommended.
Priapism is an often painful erection that lasts longer than four hours and is a medical emergency. The condition, which can occur in men of all ages, develops when blood in the penis becomes trapped. Common causes include sickle cell anemia, a hereditary disorder that causes red blood cells to become misshapen; leukemia, or cancer of the blood; trauma to the genital area or spinal cord; black widow spider bites; and certain medications, including the misuse of ED medications.
If priapism is not promptly treated, it can cause scarring and permanent erectile dysfunction. If a patient receives treatment within six hours, the erection can usually be reduced with medication. Other treatment options include ice packs to reduce swelling, surgery and intracavernous injection, which involves injecting alpha-agonist drugs, causing the arteries to narrow and reducing blood flow to the penis.
Peyronie's disease occurs when scar tissue, called plaque, develops in the penis and causes curved, painful erections. It's normal to have a slightly curved erection, but a significant bend or pain could indicate Peyronie's, which can make having sex difficult. Sometimes Peyronie's does not cause significant problems, in which case treatment may not be needed. But if you have severe pain or the curve of your penis causes problems during sex, see a doctor. You might need prescription medication or corrective surgery.
Buried or hidden penis is a condition where the penis is of normal length but is covered by the excess skin of the abdomen, scrotum or thigh. Buried penis is most common in babies and young children, but it can occur in males of any age. It can lead to a host of physical and psychological problems, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), balanitis, anxiety and depression.
Buried penis can be due to a number of factors, including too much or not enough foreskin removed during circumcision, a weakness in the ligaments that attach the penis, swelling of the scrotum and excess fat because of obesity. Surgery is often needed to treat buried penis.
The good news with these lesser-known penis disorders is that they are all treatable. If you think you are experiencing any of these conditions, schedule an appointment with your doctor. With the right treatment, the prognosis is highly favorable.