While men often joke about having a ‘boner’, it is of course known that the human penis has no bone in it, unlike that of most mammals, including some primates. However, that does not mean it is impossible for a ‘fracture’ to occur.

Such an incident is, thankfully, rather rare in most cases. When it happens, it involves a tearing of muscle tissue and extreme pain, as well as lots of swelling. It can also lead to erectile dysfunction if not treated with surgery within 24 hours.

However, there is one place where such instances seem to be rather frequent – the Iranian city of Kermanshah.

IFL Science has revealed that a doctor in the city carried out a study in the 1990s that found no less than 172 cases in the city, far from the country’s largest. These were reported in a 2000 study published in the Journal of Urology.

The key difference is that most cases of penile fracture happen during sex, but this only accounted for 14 of the instances in Kermanshah.

While some of these were caused by unfortunate accidents or injuries sustained in fights, 69 per cent were caused by a practice called taghaandan, a common practice in the Middle East where men push down or bend an erect penis in an attempt to curb sexual desire. Suffice to say, in 119 cases they succeeded all too well.

As the study does date back a few years, it may be hoped lessons have been learned and men in Kermanshah have tried cold showers or thinking about football instead.

For those who do suffer such an injury, it is clearly imperative to get down to hospital, where staff will be very professional and see to it that what is a simple procedure is carried out. Your story may be embarrassing, but they will have seen it all.

Of course, penile fractures only account for a tiny proportion of the cases of erectile dysfunction. But if you are a sufferer, it can still be difficult to admit to that too. Yet if you can summon up the courage to get a consultation and buy cheap sildenafil online, you will be glad you did afterwards, as will your partner.

While the risks taken by men in one Iranian city may lead to more erectile functions than some, a British man recently suffered what may be a unique case of a vertical penile fracture.

The unfortunate individual, a man aged 40, was revealed by the British Medical Journal to have suffered the injury during sex, with an ultrasound scan revealing a three-inch tear.

While he did not hear a ‘pop’ sound, he did suffer the other symptoms of swelling and the organ turning purple. What might have become of his capacity to maintain an erection afterwards had he not had surgery can only be speculated about, but the recent revelation of this incident noted that after hospital treatment, he recovered from the problem in six months, has no bend or scar, and everything is happily functional again.