5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Penis (cont.)
No. 4: You Can Break Your Penis
There is no "penis bone," but you can break your penis all the same. It's called penile fracture, and it's not a subtle injury. When it happens, there's "an audible pop or snap," Montague says. Then the penis turns black and blue. And there's terrible pain.
Penile fracture is rare, and it typically happens to younger men because their erections tend to be quite rigid.
Here's how to avoid penile fracture: don't use your penis too roughly. A common way that penile fracture happens, Montague says, is when a man is thrusting too hard and fast during sex, and slams into his partner's pubic bone. Also, a woman who moves wildly while on top of a man during sex can break a man's penis.
Peyronie's syndrome is a related condition that tends to show up more in older men, Montague says. An older man's erection may not be as rigid, but still is hard enough for sex. Over time, if the penis bends too much a certain way during sex, small tears in the tissue can form scars, and the accumulated scar tissue gives the penis an abnormally curved shape.
Not all penis curvature is a problem, however. "There is a lot of variability in what normal is," Cummings says.
No. 5: Most Penises in the World Are Uncut
Rates vary greatly depending upon religion and nationality. Almost all Jewish and Muslim males in the world have circumcised penises, and together they account for about 70% of all circumcised males globally.
The United States has the highest proportion of males circumcised for non-religious reasons. A whopping 75% of non-Jewish, non-Muslim American men are circumcised. Compare that to Canada, where only 30% are. In the U.K. it's 20%; in Australia it's merely 6%.
The practice of circumcising baby boys for medical and cosmetic reasons has become controversial in the U.S. But recently the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UUNAIDS recommended circumcision for adult men, based upon evidence that men with circumcised penises have a lower risk of being infected with HIV.
The CDC estimates that about 65% of all newborn boys get circumcised in the U.S.
Last Editorial Review: 9/10/2008
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