Sexual Impact of Penectomy

The surgical removal of all or part of the penis, or penectomy is a relatively simple surgical procedure.  This procedure often has little effect on sexual pleasure and function. Partial penectomy removes only the end of the penis. The surgeon leaves enough of the shaft to allow the man to direct his stream of urine away from his body.

A normal sex life is possible after partial penectomy. The remaining shaft of the penis still becomes erect with excitement. It usually gains enough length to achieve penetration. Although the most sensitive area of the penis (the glans or "head") is gone, a man can still reach orgasm and have normal ejaculation. His partner also can still enjoy intercourse and often reach orgasm.

Alternatively, a total penectomy removes the entire penis, including the roots that extend into the pelvis. The surgeon creates a new opening for the urethra (tube from the bladder) between the man's scrotum (sac for the testicles) and his anus. The man can still control his urination, because the "on-off" valve in the urethra is above the level of the penis.

Some men chose to give up on sex after total penectomy. If a person is willing to put some effort into his sex life, pleasure is possible after total penectomy. He can learn to reach orgasm when sensitive areas such as the scrotum, skin behind the scrotum, and the area surrounding the surgical scars are caressed. Having a sexual fantasy or looking at erotic pictures or stories can also increase excitement.

Men can also be helped by their partners in  reaching an orgasm,  by genital caressing with their fingers, by oral sex, or by stimulation with a vibrator.



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