Risk Of Penile Fractures Rises At Christmas, Doctors Find

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It may be the season of loving and giving, but doctors have warned against embracing this spirit too enthusiastically – at least where sexual relations are concerned. They have discovered that the Christmas period is associated with a significantly increased risk of penile fractures – a medical emergency in which the erection-producing regions of the penis snap, usually as a result of forceful bending during over-enthusiastic sexual intercourse.

“This injury tends to occur during wild sex – particularly in positions where you’re not in direct eye contact [with your partner], such as the reverse cowgirl,” said Dr Nikolaos Pyrgides, a urologist at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, who led the research.

The fractures are often heralded by an audible crack, followed by severe pain, rapid loss of erection and severe swelling and bruising. “When [patients] present to their doctor their penis often looks like an eggplant,” Pyrgides said.

Suspecting that the intimacy and euphoria of the festive season might be a risk factor for this type of injury, Pyrgides and his colleagues examined hospital data for 3,421 men who sustained penile fractures in Germany between 2005 and 2021.

The study – the first to explore seasonal patterns for this type of injury – found that such injuries were indeed more common over Christmas. In fact, “if every day was like Christmas, 43% more penile fractures would have occurred in Germany from 2005 on”, Pyrgides said.

The research, which was published in the British Journal of Urology International, also found the risk increased at weekends and over the summer holidays. However, New Year’s Eve was not associated with an increased incidence of penis injuries.

“It would be interesting to see data from other countries, but in Germany, Christmas week is widely celebrated, while New Year’s Eve tends to be a bit quieter,” Pyrgides said.

Hospital admissions for penile fractures remained relatively consistent during the Covid-19 pandemic, including during lockdown periods. The average age for sustaining such injuries was 42.

“Most penile fractures occur in unconventional scenarios, such as during extramarital affairs or when sex is performed in unusual locations,” said Pyrgides, adding that such scenarios were possibly more likely when men were approaching midlife.

He advised couples to be aware of the risk of injury, and exercise caution in the run-up to Christmas. “If it does happen, you should present to your doctor as an absolute emergency, because if you are not treated you could suffer long-term complications,” he said.

Culled from The Guardian of London

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