Is it possible to break your penis?

Yes, unfortunately broken penises happen. Here's why.


Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes. In the medical world, it’s not described as ‘breaking’, because there are no bones in the penis. But a ‘penile fracture’ can indeed happen during sex. It’s most likely when the penis is bent severely and the tunica albuginea (the penis membrane) ruptures. As a consequence, blood that flows through the corpus cavernosum (erectile tissue of the penis) during an erection, begins to leak into surrounding tissue. 


What are the signs of a broken penis?

The pain from breaking your penis will often be excruciating, although there are exceptions. You may also hear a loud popping sound bringing your erection to an immediate end. The broken penis may look deformed, discolored, and swollen or bruised. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately.

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How often do penis fractures happen?

A broken penis is fairly rare. The first reports date back to 1924, but in recent years more cases have been recorded worldwide. Roughly 1,000 cases of penile fracture are reported in the U.S. yearly.  A broken penis is most common in young men in their 20s or 30s.


The majority of cases are linked to intercourse. During sex when there is thrusting, the penis may accidentally hit a different, solid location. This tends to happen more often during positions where the woman sits on top, or positions that involve acrobatic contortions.  But fractures can also occur during masturbation or when rolling over in bed. For example, just 19% of penile fractures in Japan were reported to be intercourse related.  Other reasons for a broken penis include accidental trauma to the penis, and even wearing very tight jeans.


One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine noted that fractures happened more often during stressful sex such as with extramarital affairs or during sex in unique locations. When the researchers reviewed 16 cases of patients with the injury, they found that half had had an affair when they fractured their sex organs, three injured themselves in the bedroom and the rest fractured their penis while having intercourse in strange locations such as an elevato, a cars or a public toilet.


How is a fractured penis diagnosed?

Most patients with a fracture will seek immediate medical care.  A doctor will usually examine the penis and ask questions to make the right diagnosis. Urologists may also order imaging designed to rule out more severe injuries. If there is bleeding, it could point to a serious injury of the urethra, and a urethrogram may be required.  In the U.S. and Europe, around 38% of penile fractures are accompanied by urethral injury.


How is a broken penis fixed?

In most cases, a fractured penis requires immediate surgery.  During the surgery, the penis is opened up and a doctor will stitch up the tear in the tunica albuginea and corpus cavernosum.

During the early days, patients would use cooling packs and take painkillers, but long-term complications were 30% or higher.  Penis surgeries became more popular in the 1980s when surgeons noted that it reduced long-term complication to 4%.  If a penis fracture is not treated surgically, patients may be left with painful erections, infections, abscesses or long-term penile deformities.


Although surgery is successful in 90% of cases, some patients continue to experience pain, erectile dysfunction or issues involving scar tissue. Recovery is much better the earlier you get to the emergency room.


After surgery, patients are usually required to stay in the hospital for a few days and you will be expected to attend follow-up visits to check that your penis is healing correctly. You should not have sex for at least one month after surgery.



  1. Jack, G. S., Garraway, I., Reznichek, R., & Rajfer, J. (2004). Current treatment options for penile fractures. Reviews in urology, 6(3), 114–120.  
  2. Malis J. (1924). Zur Kausuistik der fractura penis. Arch Klin Chir. 29:651. (Ger). 
  3. Aaronson, D., & Shindel, A. (2010). U.S. National Statistics on Penile Fracture. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7/9: 3226.
  4. Eke, N. (2002). Fracture of the penis. British Journal of Surgery, 89/5: 555-565.
  5. ISHIKAWA, T., FUJISAWA, M., TAMADA, H., INOUE, T., & SHIMATANI, N. (2003). Fracture of the penis: Nine cases with evaluation of reported cases in Japan. International Journal of Urology, 10/5: 257-260.
  6. Reis, L., Cartapatti, M., Marmiroli, R., Oliveira Júnior, E., Saade, R., & Fregonesi, A. (2019). Mechanisms Predisposing Penile Fracture and Long-Term Outcomes on Erectile and Voiding Functions.
  7. Kramer, A. (2011). Penile Fracture Seems More Likely During Sex Under Stressful Situations. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8/12: 3414-3417.
  8. Kalash, S., & Young, J. (1984). Fracture of penis: Controversy of surgical versus conservative treatment. Urology, 24/1: 21-24.

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