The Future Is Here
We may earn a commission from links on this page

"Penis captivus" is a real condition, and it sounds awful

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Can a penis really get stuck in a vagina? According to BBC Health Check, the answer is, unfortunately, yes. Like penile fracture, "penis captivus" (as the condition is known) is one of those things you desperately wish was a myth, but is surprisingly, frighteningly, disconcertingly real.


Dr. John Dean, Clinical Director of Gender and Sexual Medicine for Devon Partnership NHS Trust in southwest England, describes the physiological mechanism by which penis captivus can "certainly happen" in an interview with the BBC:

What... is likely to happen is that when the penis is within the vagina it becomes increasingly engorged. The muscles of the woman's pelvic floor contract rhythmically at orgasm... While those muscles contract, the penis becomes stuck and further engorged within [the vagina] until the muscles relax, blood can flow out... the penis... the penis starts to go down after orgasm and the man can withdraw. And whilst – I think the fascination is with the prospect of a couple struggling to separate themselves for many minutes, what actually happens is that they may find themselves in difficulty disengaging for maybe a few seconds – five seconds, ten seconds, and if you're in that situation that probably seems like an eternity rather than just five or ten seconds. Certainly I have heard this in my own practice, where it happens just for a few seconds.


More at BBC Health Check.

Top photo via Shutterstock