A teenager who went to hospital because he couldn’t urinate for three days actually had a sewing needle inside his penis, after he had inserted it there.
The 14-year-old, from Tunis, Tunisia, admitted he had pushed the needle inside himself days earlier for sexual pleasure.
Doctors had to use forceps to pull out the sharp object which had become lodged 5cm inside him, although they couldn’t initially see it on examination.
In a case report published in the journal Urology Case Reports, the doctors who treated the teenager at the La Rabta Hospital in Tunisia’s capital said cases like his are ‘very rare’ and revealed patients’ diagnoses are often delayed because of ‘shame and embarrassment’.
They said the boy told doctors he had pushed the 9cm needle into his urethra – the duct by which urine travels out of the body from the bladder – for ‘erotic stimulation’.
The needle had been pushed in so far that the doctors couldn’t see it, and an examination revealed it was 5cm along the duct. Medics had to put the schoolboy under general anaesthetic and use forceps to remove the needle.
The team, led by Dr Selim Zaghbib, wrote:
Postoperative period was uneventful. The patient was discharged after one day and referred to the psychiatric department which confirmed that he had no mental trouble.
The team added that, while the boy was not found to have any psychological issues, his school psychologist was involved in his follow-up care.
The research paper also listed dozens of other bizarre objects people have had removed from their genitals, including ‘toothbrushes, household batteries, light bulbs, marbles, cotton tip swabs, plastic cups, thermometers, plants and vegetables, and even parts of animals (leeches, squirrel tail, snakes, bones)’.
Inserting thin rods into the urethra for sexual pleasure is a well-established fetish, known as sounding. As per VICE, sounding can provide heightened sensation and pleasure, and can also be used for control in a domination/submission situation.
However, with the fetish comes a high risk of infection, injury, and potential trauma and so medical experts suggest anyone thinking of engaging in the practice must use sterile, smooth, shatter-proof instruments. They also urge everyone to visit a doctor and be honest with them if something goes wrong.
Furthermore, experts emphasise the importance of using only specialised toys for the purpose, and not objects found laying about the house.
Fortunately, the boy was able to go home one day later with no long-lasting injuries.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).