Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on May 03, 2012

Sources

Sheldon Marks, MD Urologist; Male Infertility Specialist, Prostate Cancer Specialist, Microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal Specialist, Tucson, Ariz.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: I heard a crack while having sex and now I've lost my erection.

Sheldon Marks, MD: Probably what occurred is what's called a penile fracture. It really isn't a break like the break of a bone. But there's two chambers within the penis that hold the blood, the Corpora Cavernosa. And it's a very thin-walled structure that becomes very distended, very tense, and that's where the rigidity of the erection occurs. In certain rare circumstances, the torqueing, the stretch on that is enough to pop and crack one of those chambers. Classically the man will experience severe, excruciating pain, sudden disappearance of the erection, horrible pain with blood. The penis will become purple, cracking sound and that's a surgical emergency. They have to stop what they're doing and go immediately to the emergency room. It may require surgical intervention. The risk of that is because of the risk of the scar from the healing of the tear and the blood, men can end up with penile curvature and even permanent impotence. The good news is it's fairly rare, almost always occurs in very aggressive wild sex, usually women on top. What happens is the penis comes out, vaginal vault and then goes back in and misses, hits the pubic bone in the woman and that's enough to torque it and pop it.