A trip up the penis

Men have been scolded for not knowing a woman’s anatomy by heart, … or fingers. It’s been called ridiculous that the men don’t know the difference between a vagina and a vulva. And granted, I’ve written a blog about this, so the men who don’t know it yet, should read it (again).

Just recently I became aware that the exact opposite also exists; women don’t really know men’s genital anatomy either. True, the basics are covered; often a shrimpy ugly thing, two balls, sometimes a rigid ugly thing, pee exit hole = sperm exit. Enough to get you through a couple of months of dating, but not for any real long-term relationships and genital organs get-togethers. Maybe it’s safe to say that none of us really know our own bodies, let alone the bodies of the opposite sex. We’ve had our trip down the vagina, but now we’re continuing our trip up the penis. Follow me please!

Lesson 1: This is just swell

In the penis there is the urethra and 3 swelling things, of which the names are easy to remember by thinking of that famous movie: Two Corpora Cavernosa share one Corpus Spongiosum. These are essential in getting an erection. During foreplay – yes, surprising fact, some men enjoy foreplay – these cavernosa fill up with blood resulting in an erected penis. Viagra can be a good medicinal fluffer as it causes the blood vessels to dilate but was originally invented to cure heart disease for just the same reason .

Lesson 2: Hang on

Under the penis is the scrotum. It contains the testicles of the man. In most cases this means two balls. In rare cases the scrotum contains one ball, often by not descending, it just didn’t develop, removal after sickness or injury. The medical term is monorchism, not to be confused with monarchism. In super rare case you will find/feel more than two, it is called polyorchidism. These testicles are important, and not to be forgotten (hint hint), because it produces the sperm.

Lesson 3: Just keep swimming

The happy little swimmers of the man are made in the testicles and are cultivated like fine wines and Thanksgiving Turkeys at exactly the correct temperature. Sperms like it just below your normal body temperature. If for example a man decides to go skinny dipping in ice water, the now not so happy swimmers move up the body to get warmer.

Lesson 4: Pro-stay-to, pro-stah-to

When a man ejaculates his sperm shoots through an internal rollercoaster. It slowly crawls up into the body, becoming all excited, and right before it goes into the long super fast straight urethra (where normally urine passes through), it has to visits the mega twisting loop screwer, also known as the prostate. A gland that women don’t have. I repeat: women don’t have a prostate!

The prostate is a gland that is located just below the bladder and circumferences the urethra of a man. You can examine the prostate rectally (or stimulate, not judging). In the prostate the sperm gets the glue that makes it so difficult to wash of, I mean – that makes the sperm so sticky. From there it travels outside with speed of light (why else do men always close their eyes?) or in normal terms approximately 45 km/h and after all that a disappointing amount of approximately 1 teaspoon.

Lesson 5: Relight my fire

It depends on the culture and the times you are living in if you should have a big or a small penis. In ancient Greece it was a sign of eternal youth to have a small penis. This resulted in all those amazing Greek Gods being cut in marble with micro penises. Watching current adult movies makes you belief women are craving for fire extinguisher like monsters. Rest assured boys, chances are you are just average with a length of 4-8 cm which increases to 11-21 cm erected (mean of 14.3), and by a great Evolutionary coincidence, that is just the way women like them. Anyhow, I understand from my anonymous resources that the width might actually be of more importance to the girls. The vagina can’t get any deeper, but it can get wider…

Some men are really unhappy with their penis size and decide to take drastic measures and cut a ligament in their penis and then spend weeks with weights hanging on their penis. This will eventually work and increases the penis length with an astounding … wait for it … 1cm. Totally worth it. Really. Well… Not really. Actually, don’t do it. Well, do it with what you have.

Advanced lessons:

Now, I’ll just mention the following for your own interest to look it up if you want to upgrade your skills… Corona, frenulum and perineum.

Have fun.

Death by Tetanus: it started with a bicycle.

Wednesday 8 am, Moshi, Tanzania
A 26-year old man is brought in. He is severely ill and has difficulty breathing. He can’t open his mouth. The man looks frightened. His mother confirms our suspicions. She tells us that a week ago her son hit a rock with his bicycle and fell. One of the old, rusty spokes poked in his leg and inflicted a wound. This wound healed normally but this morning he became severely ill. This man has tetanus.

Tetanus

Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani that is characterized by muscle spasms. These spasms can get very severe and cause the classic opisthotonus; the body arches backward and the mouth is in lockjaw. It is fatal in 10% of the cases, mostly due to respiratory failure because of the spasms.

Tetanus can be transmitted by animal bites but also by simple rusty accidents. Bicycle, motorbike and car accidents are very common causes of tetanus and this is the reason that you get a vaccine after you had an accident like this. Because yes, you can get vaccinated against these bacteria. The only problem is that the vaccine needs to be updated every 10 years. If your last vaccination is older, you might need a booster dose. But luckily, if you ever had a vaccine the chances of survival are greater than if you never got any vaccinations.

To try to save patients like this, we normally do four things.

  1. Open the wound from the bicycle accident and surgically remove all possible infected tissue. The bacteria produce toxins that cause the symptoms. So even if the wound looks healed and clean, the toxins still might be present, causing harm. Not easy to convince surgeons to open-up a closed wound but trust me, if you explain the situation, they will help you.
  2. Give antibiotics that kill the bacteria
  3. Give immunoglobulins. This is a special type of medicine where you give immune cells against a disease directly to the patient. We have some diseases where this has a very good effect like rabies and tetanus.
  4. Give him the best supportive care

Wednesday to Friday morning, Moshi, Tanzania

After talking a lot with the surgeons, they opened the wound (step 1: check) and we started the antibiotics (step 2: check).
But now the trouble started. In an earlier post about rabies I mentioned that immunoglobulins are expensive and not always available; Tetanus has the same problem. Unlucky for the man is that we had a similar patient just a few days earlier. We were able to get immunoglobulins from Nairobi, Kenia (close to Moshi) for that patient. It was their last vial. Our 26-old man needed to get his immunoglobulins from Dar-es-Salam. It is in Tanzania, but much further away and thus much more expensive for the family to get it. In other words: they couldn’t get these very important immunoglobulins that might save his life (step 3: no check).

Friday 1.30 pm, Moshi, Tanzania

After two days of supportive therapy (step 4: check) the man is slipping away. We resuscitate for 60 minutes but there is no response. He dies.

It all started with that bicycle. Or did it start much earlier? When he didn’t get the childhood vaccinations? Maybe they were not available, maybe his family never could afford it.

But if you are not yet vaccinated and the vaccinations are available and affordable: get your tetanus shot.

Don’t let a simple bicycle kill you.

 

Picture: Opisthotonus in a patient suffering from tetanus. Painting by Sir Charles Bell, 1809.