Penile Fracture

what is Penile fracture?

A penile fracture is a tear in the tunica albuginea. The tunica albuginea is the rubbery sheath of tissue below the skin that allows the penis to increase in width and length to produce a firm erection. Sometimes the erectile tissue beneath the tunica albuginea also ruptures. That’s known as the corpus cavernosum.

Penile fracture is a medical emergency. If it happens, you need to get to a hospital as soon as possible, and you will probably need surgery. Quick treatment can help prevent permanent sexual and urinary problems.


If you take a sharp blow to the genitals, your penis may be sore or bruised. Penile fracture is a more severe injury. The following symptoms are red flags for possible fracture:

  • audible snapping or popping sound
  • sudden loss of your erection
  • severe pain following the injury
  • dark bruising above the injured area
  • bent penis
  • blood leaking from penis
  • difficult urination


Penile fracture happens when sudden trauma or bending of the penis breaks the tunica albuginea. The erectile tissue beneath the tunica albuginea may also rupture. These twin bodies of spongy tissue normally fill with blood when you are sexually aroused, producing an erection.

A fracture can also injure the urethra. The urethra is the channel in the penis that urine flows through.

Common causes of penile fracture include:

  • forceful bending of the penis during vaginal intercourse.
  • a sharp blow to the erect penis during a fall, car accident, or other mishap
  • traumatic masturbation

The most common cause of penile fracture in sexually active men is trauma during intercourse.