Sensitive souls might like to look away now – particularly if they have a penis. Thing is, there’s a reason some guys call it their ‘crown jewels’: their penis is precious, and what with being external and all, vulnerable to a frankly bewildering array of mishaps and attacks. Guard it closely and keep it safe; we wouldn’t wish any of these appendage afflictions on anyone.
Read on for eight eye-watering penis pains. If any sound remotely familiar, get yourself to a doctor quick-smart!
1. Sax, Not Sex: Twisted Penis Disorder
Don’t be fooled by the lyrical name: saxophone penis does not go hand in hand with making sweet music. Caused by blocked lymph nodes or bacterial infection (we’re looking at you, chlamydia) this penile peril causes the penis to swell and twist to resemble the curves of a saxophone. The good news is that it can be treated – either through medication or surgery – but although interventions may fix urination, sex is generally a different matter entirely…
2. Reversing Roles
For an extremely unlucky few, fistulas – or tears – can occur as a result of prostate or bladder surgery. In even rarer circumstances still, that can muddle the circuitry of the digestive tract, meaning our unfortunate gent will notice he is passing urine from his anus and defecating through his penis. It’s fixable, but not a little traumatic…
3. The Wrong Kind of Fishing Rod
Meet the candiru: an innocuous enough looking catfish, native to the Amazon Basin. But despite its (usually) small size, and although generally not as deadly as the likes of piranhas and crocodiles, this parasitic critter is most definitely best avoided. Why? Because it is allegedly known to swim up urethras. Once inside, it unfurls its secret weapon: ridges of spines that it uses to feast on its hapless host’s blood. In a word: ouch!
4. Peyronie’s Disease
Thought to affect an estimated 0.7 percent of men according to a 2016 US study, this distressing condition is an outcome of a buildup of scar tissue known as “plaques” at the top of the penis, and commonly results in significant curvature of the penis.
Risk factors aren’t well understood just yet, though severe trauma and entering a partner while less than completely hard as thought to cause it. Symptoms include painful erections and sexual dysfunction. Bottom line: if you notice the curvature of your manhood changing over time, speak up.
5. Broken Penis
A boner may have no bones – but that’s not to say it can’t break. If one or both of het tunica albuginea – that’s the envelope that wraps around the penis’ corpora cavernosa – ruptures, believe us, you’’ll know about it. A rare occurrence, when it does happens it’s usually a result of going at it too, ahem, rigorously either with a partner, or during masturbation.
There may be a cracking sound, and they’ll immediately lose his erection. If that happens, get to an ER right away, as it’s eminently treatable, usually with surgery.
Another penis problem that can wreak havoc both physically and psychologically, priapism is essentially an erection that doesn’t go away, even after ejaculation. Sometimes linked to sickle cell disorders (and also, interestingly enough, rabies and scorpion stings), it’s not good.
While a long-lasting erection might seem like a boon on paper, (heck, this one’s even named after Greek fertility god Priapus. Mixed messages much?) blood that lingers in the penis for too long becomes deprived of oxygen, resulting damage to penile tissue. Treatable with medications and/or surgery, don’t delay seeking immediate medical care.
Now, this one might freak you out a little, but it’s surprisingly common: blood in semen. Oftentimes nothing to worry about, it can be a symptom of more serious urological disorders, including cancer of the testicles and bladder. If it’s a one-off – and especially if you’re under the age of 40 – chances are everything’s OK. If not, get thee to a doctor!
8. Definitely NOT Puppy Love
Last but by no means least: a tale of one man’s so-called best friend proving itself significantly less than loyal in the Dominican Republic, in 2013. After a particularly heavy session, the gentleman in question woke up… without a penis! His presumably long-suffering neighbours informed him that at a dog bit it off. The moral? Don’t drink so much? Be a cat person? Not sure.
The penis is a remarkable piece of anatomy, a source of immense pleasure (and bodily functions), and definitely something to be cherished. Hopefully this roundup won’t cause severe penile paranoia, but if any of the conditions outlined ring alarm bells, don’t delay seeking advice!