Ask any bloke about his dick and he’ll probably be able to give you a detailed description, right down to each confected additional inch. He might not want to, but he could.
Despite the official “man’s best friend” title going to dogs, it’s a tireless truism that us men are very attached to our doodles, both literally and figuratively. And while most of us would rather bring up our car or favourite sports team at the dinner table, if we had to speak on our members, we’d probably be able to give a whole TED talk.
Funny, then, that the majority of blokes don’t know much about what can go wrong with Mr Johnson until they’re told by a doctor. Though most of us are probably abreast of STIs (thanks, year 10 PE teacher), there’s a raft of dick diseases that can make the humble penis a palpably sorry patient under the right (or wrong) circumstances.
Here’s a brief list of what can go wrong with your schlong.
There are naturally-occurring (and mostly harmless) microorganisms living directly on your junk and under the foreskin, in particular. This means that a bacterial or fungal outbreak can occasionally occur, inflaming the head of the penis leading to pain, swelling, rash, and the discharge of fluids.
This condition is known as Balanitis and it’s often the result of poor hygiene, allergies, unregulated diabetes, or psoriasis. It can also be a symptom of STIs such as gonorrhea or syphilis.
2. Premature Ejaculation
One you’ve probably heard of—premature ejaculation occurs when men ejaculate either just before or shortly after the earliest moments of sex. It comes in varying forms and degrees of severity, and is a very frustrating problem for the one in three men who live with it.
The good news? There are various effective treatments available that can be sourced through a GP.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
More common than you might think, erectile dysfunction reportedly affects nearly two in three Australian men at some point.
In a nutshell, the condition occurs when you can’t achieve or maintain an erection during sex.
Despite how common it is, erectile dysfunction isn’t exactly something you talk about with your closest mates (though maybe if we did we’d realise how common it is).
Though prevalent, it can easily be treated with medication that’s been safe and effective for decades, which can be easily prescribed by a GP online.
4. Peyronie’s Disease
Brace yourself for this one, gents. Peyronie’s disease occurs when scar tissue forms inside the penis and causes it to bend at a 30-degree angle or more, thereby disrupting blood flow. In turn, you may not be able to form erections (though painful and curved erections will often precede the condition).
The causes of Peyronie’s disease can be anything from infection to physical trauma to genetics to the side effect of blood pressure medication.
5. Phimosis (and Paraphimosis)
Phimosis is when the foreskin is too tight to pull back from the head of the penis (like a really tight turtleneck sweater). In babies and toddlers, the condition usually resolves itself over time. However, adult males aren’t as lucky and need medical treatment.
Commonly the result of injury or inflammation, Phimosis can lead to urinary tract infections or numbing pain during sex, to name a few symptoms.
Conversely, paraphimosis occurs when an injury prevents the foreskin from returning to its original position (a bit like a rubber band around the shaft. Yikes.) As a result, your one-eyed-trouser-snake might experience increased sensitivity, pain, swelling, and reduced blood flow which can eventually lead to gangrene.
Though priapism might sound ideal to fellas who live with ED, anybody who has suffered a permanent erection will tell you that it’s far from.
Though rare, priapism—where blood gets trapped inside erectile tissue causing an unwavering boner—can be painful and, if left untreated, dangerous.
Treatment usually involves a surgeon draining your willy with a syringe, which sounds truly terrifying, though less of an ordeal than going under the knife.