Penis captivus- Can a couple get stuck during sex?

General Overview

This is a rare but disturbing occurrence that is still a mystery to a lot of people. How can two partners get stuck during intercourse, a supernatural act or just mere science? Just as the name implies, penis captivus is a rare or rather, poorly reported, awkward experience during sexual intercourse where the man is unable to free himself at the supposed end of sex. Though most documented cases are hearsay, there are still enough publications with evidence to prove the reality of penis captivation.

How it usually happens!

During erection and sex, there is a vasodilation of blood vessels in the penis, causing an increased flow of blood into the penis, and the expansion of the corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum muscles. This effects an increase in length and girth of the penis during sexual stimulation, with the size getting further increased towards orgasm.

On the ladies part, the vaginal wall is muscular, and relaxes at the beginning of sex to accommodate the penetrating penis. During sex, it can contract rhythmically around the penis to create more sensations, however, this contraction can be so intense that it can firmly get hold of the engorged penis, entrapping it in the vagina and impossible to withdraw. This is even worse in women who experience vaginismus, which is a reflex profound contraction of the muscles of the female pelvic floor, clamping down of the vaginal opening and making any form of penetration excruciating.

Penis captivus usually occurs in a particular person, and most likely depends on the female partner. It is more common in highly intense sexual intercourse between couples or illegal partners.

Documented cases

Most of the cases of penis captivus are rumors or ancient with little or no medical evidence. Nevertheless, the British Medical Journal of 1979 published an article on this topic. In the review, two German gynecologists, of the 19th century, were said to have independently managed two different cases of penis captivus. The following year, the same journal published a letter in response to the previous article. The letter was from a doctor who claimed to have managed a similar case in 1947 and was confirmed by his previous colleague.

There have also been other several reports by medical practitioners who have handled these cases but these cases cannot be established due to the transient nature of this phenomenon. Some media outlets have also reported cases where mating couples got stuck during sex, especially in adulterous cases.

How to disengage

At times, penis captivus may become an emergency for the partners, and forceful attempts to withdraw the penis during penis captivus might bring great pain and injury to either one or both partners. Ideally, penis captivus lasts for just a few minutes, though it can extend to hours. All you need to do is to remain calm, stop arousal and allow the penis to get flaccid while the vaginal muscles relax. If you are still unable to disengage after a few minutes, call your doctor who might administer a muscle relaxant to pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.

Conclusion

Outside the sexual discomfort caused to the partners, penis captivus has no other medical side effect, and is not necessarily a cause for alarm.

Onyeka, N. Victor
Clinical Medical Student,
Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

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