There are a few dangers we think of when we have sex, transmission of STDs/STIs and unwanted pregnancy being the major ones. (And, we might add, becoming emotionally attached to someone we shouldn't.)
But if we're in good health, most of us don't think about any of the other potential negative effects of sex, namely, penile fractures.
But, according to a new small study, heterosexual men are more likely to "break" their penis if they have doggy style sex.
The research, published in the Journal of Impotence, looked at which positions cause the highest proportion of penile fractures during heterosexual sex, and found that missionary style — where the man is on top — was the second-most likely sex position after doggy style to cause a fracture.
Researchers looked at the data based on 90 heterosexual men who had a fractured penis, who were asked how their injury happened.
They found that 44 per cent of the men were injured from doggy style sex, 25 per cent were injured from doing it missionary style, and 10 per cent were injured due to the woman being on top.
As for why these positions are more likely to cause injury to the penis, the researchers said it all has to do with the angle and "vigour."
"We can speculate that when the man is in a dominant position and very excited, intercourse can become extremely vigorous, triggering greater impact at the time of trauma when the penis slips out of the vagina and hits against the perineum or pubic symphysis," they noted.
When a woman is on top of a man, however, her position or shifting of position can also cause the penis to fracture.
Other penile injuries that can be caused by sexual activity include masturbation, "rolling over," and "blunt trauma," although these cases are much rarer.
According to NHS England, "reported cases of penile fracture are rare," but the site notes that this may be because men do not typically report this injury out of embarrassment.
You'll also know for sure whether you've fractured your penis when it happens.
"If you've fractured your penis, you'll usually know immediately," reports Men's Health. "One of the most telling symptoms is a cracking or popping sound — that's actually the tissue tearing."
You should also get yourself to the emergency room, stat.
"Occasionally, you may need a cystoscopy — a procedure in which a hollow tube equipped with a lens can look directly inside your urethra — to determine whether it's actually torn," notes Men's Health.
"You'll usually require surgery to repair the tear in your penile tissue. And it's important that you go under the knife within three days of the injury. This isn't a wait-and-see condition — if you put it off too long, you can raise your risk of complications down the line."
This isn't a wait-and-see condition — if you put it off too long, you can raise your risk of complications down the line.
Although it's not likely that you'll break your penis during intercourse, there are ways to reduce the risk of it happening.
Men's Health suggests "making sure you're fully erect before penetrating her. If you're not, your penis may be more likely to torque or twist, which could raise the risk of penile fracture."
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