Doctors have removed a 10cm long steel fork from inside a man’s penis, after a sexual adventure went horribly wrong.
The 70-year-old visited Canberra Hospital’s emergency department complaining of bleeding genitalia.
He then promptly admitted that he had inserted a piece of cutlery into his urethra in an attempt to pleasure himself.
Unfortunately the attempt backfired and it became stuck, leaving him in considerable pain. Despite this, it took him 12 hours to pluck up the courage to seek medical help.
The fork was so firmly lodged inside the man's body that doctors could not initially see the cause of the discomfort, according to the report in The International Journal of Surgery.
However, once it had been located, ‘multiple retrieval methods were contemplated with success achieved via forceps traction and copious lubrication.’
The procedure was successful and the elderly man was sent home with no long-term damage.
According to the article, entitled ‘An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body’, it is very rare to find alien objects lodged in the lower urinary tract.
But, it said, many unexpected objects have been retrieved from other parts of the body.
These include toothbrushes, pencils, allen keys, plastic cups, light bulbs, thermometers, plants and vegetables, leeches, snakes, wax and glue.
Doctors Krishanth Naidu, Maurice Mulcahy and Amanda Chung said they chose to publish the unusual case 'to create discussion among the medical fraternity given the great management challenge faced by the oddity and infrequency with which a fork is encountered in the penile urethra'.
The added that the motives for inserting objects into such a sensitive region were difficult to comprehend.
According to the report, in a series of 20 adult cases over 9 years, foreign body insertions into the lower urinary tract have a low incidence, with men 1.7 times more likely to engage in the behaviour than women.
They said that practice tends to occur 'during states of pathological masturbation, substance abuse and intoxication'.
In most cases embarrassed patients attempted to retrieve the item themselves, risking injury and foreign body migration.
The real danger was infection leading to death, because ashamed patients often delay medical treatment, they said.
Doctors generally try to avoid surgery in such situations, instead choosing an option that would minimise trauma and preserve erectile function.
According to the report, typical symptoms after having inserted a foreign object into the male urethra include lower abdominal pain, penile pain, swelling of glans or body of penis, inflammation of the urethra, dyspareunia (pain during sex), blood-stained urine, pyuria (pus in urine), increased urinary frequency, inability to urinate and fever.