Medically reviewed by Leonard N. Zinman, MD, FACS, FRCS
Written by Our Editorial Staff
What exactly is a broken penis?
We usually think of a break or fracture when we think of a bone. And there are no bones in your penis. So how can you break it?
Well, inside your shaft there are many different kinds of tissues called
fascia. One of these fascia is called the
The tunica albuginea is sort of a sack or balloon that covers the 3 chambers that fill with blood and make your shaft hard. The 2 main chambers are called the corpus cavernosum. There is also one small one called the corpus spongiosum.
When you have an erection the tunica albuginea (balloon around the chambers) is stretched to it's limit. This is what makes your erection feel hard like a bone. Just like when you blow a balloon up all the way.
When you forceably bend an erection, the tunica albuginea has no more room to stretch. So it tears. Or breaks. This is what is called a broken penis.
You'll usually know, without question, if you have broken your penis.
A broken penis hurts as soon as you break it. It hurts A LOT!
It is almost ALWAYS the result of intense sexual activity that went wrong. You had an accident.
Most commonly you were having intense sex. Either you missed the vagina or your partner was on top, came down hard, and your penis didn't go in her vagina.
You can also break it in your sleep. But, that is supremely rare and not likely. Or when masturbating. But that's RARE also.
There's no shame in getting a broken penis. Accidents happen. So, see a doctor immediately. Don't be afraid to tell him what just happened. You're not the only one it's ever happened to.
It's not real difficult to figure out if you really have a broken penis.
If the break (or tear) is not too bad, you probably broke only the tunica albuginea.
If the break is more severe you may have also torn your corpus cavernosum and possibly your urethra (the tube that carries your urine and semen out of your penis) also. If you tore the urethra, you may also see blood come out of the tip.
Pretty awful, huh? It's not good. And that's for sure!
Normally, however, it can be fixed quite easily with a simple surgery.
Whatever you do,
if you have symptoms of a broken penis, get it check immediately.
Go to either your Urologist, your doctor, or an emergency room right now. Don't risk death or amputation of your penis because of gangrene.
If your injury is not life threatening, the biggest danger becomes your choice of professional care.
Caution: There is a simple surgery for a broken penis. And, there is a devastatingly radical surgery for a broken penis. Both do the same job.
The biggest danger is usually not the breaking or tearing, but rather the choice of surgery that you'll use to fix it.
If your shaft has just a mild break, you may not require surgery at all. It may be able to heal on it's own. Your doctor will be able to tell you if surgery is not necessary.
If your broken penis is more severe, you're going to need a surgery to sew it back up. So you better know what you're getting into.
There are two types of surgery for a broken penis. One is done with a
process called "degloving". You want to avoid that if at all possible.
Degloving is a surgery where the skin is peeled off the entire length of your penile shaft.
"Degloving is a horrible experience.
And usually unnecessary."
Degloving is used because the tissue of the shaft is very swollen and the exact location of the break can not be determined unless the skin is peeled off of it.
After degloving, the break is located, sewn up, and the outer skin is sewn back together.
Degloving is a nightmare! You'll be under general anesthesia (always a risk). You'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days. You'll have a drain in your penis to let the fluids (from all the cutting) drain. You'll probably require a catheter for a week or two.
And, you may wind up impotent (unable to achieve or maintain an erection).
The other procedure is done with a simple one inch incision (opening) over the broken area.
This procedure takes only about 15 minutes. You will go home that day. And normally heal without complication.
That seems like a stupid question, doesn't it? It's not.
First of all, surgeons operate. That's what they do. And they love it! They want to do it right away. But, immediate action may not be necessary.
So ask if you can wait a week or two before surgery. Explain that you know of both surgical techniques.
Degloving is only really necessary if your internal bleeding is so severe that it is life threatening or going to cause possible death or harm to your penis (from gangrene) if not treated immediately. This is RARE! But possible.
If your doctor says you can wait 7-12 days for surgery, you will probably be able to choose the other procedure. Most of the time this is possible.
After 7-12 days, almost all of the swelling will be gone. Then, the break or tear can usually be felt very easily (a small hard lump) by hand. The surgeon knows exactly where to operate.
In these cases the broken penis needs only to be cut open about one inch and the surgery performed.
After you have broken your penis, you will be out of commission sexually for a good six weeks or more until it heals up.
An erection right after surgery could possibly tear the wound open again. So, after surgery your doctor will give you a drug to keep you from getting erections.
But, normally everything will heal up just fine if you take the proper and necessary treatment (normally surgery).
After your penis has healed you may find that your erections are bent or severely curved. This bending may happen right away or it may happen a year or more after the accident.
The bent penis is caused by the scar that forms. Scar tissue does not stretch as well or as far as normal tissue. So, your penis may bend in the direction of the scar.
Sometimes the scarring thickens over time. This is why your penis might take on a bend a year or so later.
Don't worry. You can easily fix almost any bent penis with some simple penis traction. Penis traction is so effective that it can usually have your bent penis looking normal in a matter of months.
So don't despair. Getting a broken penis doesn't mean you will be have to be deformed or lose your sex life.
You will be on hold from sexual activity for a few months!
But, a broken penis usually can heal wonderfully well if you take proper care of it.