Sex is great for your health — it can lower your blood pressure, improve sleep, and boost your immune system. But doing the deed also has its risks. Here are 2 potential sexual hazards and tips to avoid them.
For Him: Penis Fracture
Can men “break” their penises even though there are no bones in the penis? Absolutely. A penial fracture occurs when the erect penis is suddenly bent, causing a tear in the tunica albuginea membrane. This membrane surrounds the core of the penis — the area responsible for erection — and if it tears, blood leaks out to the surrounding tissue. Men who experience a penial fracture will hear a cracking sound followed by severe pain, swelling, and dark bruising of the penis. Ouch.
This injury usually occurs among men who are participating in vigorous sex and in some cases, aggressive masturbation. However, a penial fracture can occur anytime the penis is thrust against a solid surface like the perineum — the area between the anus and the scrotum in men and the area between the anus and the vulva in women.
If you do experience a penial fracture, seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor can usually detect a fracture with a physical exam and surgery is usually recommended. If left untreated, a penial fracture can result in erectile dysfunction and deformity.
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For Her: Vaginal Cuts and Tears
Women who are sexually active usually experience a vaginal cut or tear at least once in their lives. These lacerations can make sex uncomfortable or painful, but they usually aren’t serious.
Vaginal dryness is the most common cause of vaginal cuts and tears. Whether you’re experiencing vaginal dryness because of insufficient arousal, hormone changes, or stress, there are ways to relieve dryness:
Use lubricants. Bring a bottle of water-based lubricant into the bedroom to relieve dryness. Be sure to check out the label beforehand as some ingredients like glycerin or lidocaine can cause irritation or discomfort. Change positions. Woman-on-top is the best position to reduce the risk of vaginal tears. Don’t forget foreplay. Engaging in foreplay before intercourse can help you lubricate on your own, preventing tears.If the cuts are substantial, don’t stop bleeding, or become infected, see your doctor immediately.