Unwelcome Christmas Gift: Risk of Sex Injury Is Up

The season's 'intimacy and euphoria' come with greater risk for penile fractures
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2023 12:49 PM CST
Men at Greater Risk of Penile Fractures During Holidays
   (Getty / gpointstudio)

Hang your mistletoe with extra care, because a new study published in the British Journal of Urology International found that the season of love comes with greater risks for a painful trip to the ER. According to the Guardian, researchers found that penile fractures are most common during Christmastime. The paper, cheekily titled "Penile fractures: the price of a merry Christmas," says that the season's "intimacy and euphoria" inspires more sexual contact, increasing risk for injury. Other "moments of relaxation," like weekends and summer, also showed greater incidents. "Even though we cannot, of course, recommend against having sex during these periods," says urologist Dr Nikolaos Pyrgides per HuffPost UK, "our findings ring the alarm bell (and not the jingle bells)."

The study looked at hospital data in Germany between 2005 and 2021, when 3,421 men were admitted for penile fractures. Penile fractures are not all that common, but occur when an erect penis is twisted or bent with force, causing blood vessels to burst. "This injury tends to occur during wild sex, particularly in positions where you're not in direct eye contact, such as the reverse cowgirl," said Pyrgides, who noted that severe bruising and swelling causes the penis to resemble an eggplant. Risk also increases in affairs and when sex is had in "unusual" locations. The average age of injury was 42, which Pyrgides posits might add up to mid-life exploration among men.

Despite being another time for celebration, New Year's Eve didn't see a rise in incidents, though this might be a regional anomaly. "It would be interesting to see data from other countries, but in Germany, Christmas week is widely celebrated, while New Year's Eve tends to be a bit quieter," Pyrgides says. He advises getting treatment immediately because the injury can lead to future complications. The season's amorous mood coincides with another interesting stat: Nine months on, the most popular US birthday is continually September 9, NBC reports. (Chances for a white Christmas aren't good in the US).

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