Field of Science

TMI Friday: Batteries should NOT be included

There are some days when you have to ask yourself, just what is the deal with men. I don't mean our general demeanour, or the pretensions of superiority over other genders. No, I'm talking about the strange things that men decide to do when left alone for too long.The  men who happily dangle their members inside bottles, or in reach of the spinning blades of a vacuum cleaner not thinking of the consequences.
With this in mind, we arrive at a case study by Bedi et al, where they describe the case of an elderly gentleman who was referred to them from a nursing home. He had been experiencing extreme pain during urination. A year previously, he had a similar problem. On that occasion, it was found that he had stuffed a pen lid inside his penis.
Now, one shouldn't make assumptions about people. Just because he had abused the elasticity of his urethra before was no reason to suspect that it had happened again. He could be experiencing difficulty urinating for a whole number of important medical reasons.
Then he pissed out a rusty Triple A battery.
And he still had trouble urinating ! This is when the nurses at the home realised that they needed to get help from doctors.
An X-ray revealed the source of the problem. Two batteries were still lodged in the man's urethra. Meanwhile one of the residents of the home for the elderly is wondering why the remote stopped working.
So how do you pull these batteries out ? The surgeons decided to use special endoscopic forceps to pull out the batteries. Endoscopic forceps are essentially long tubes with jaws on the end (for grasping things).
They had to insert these forceps up the urethra to grasp at these batteries.
Upon being presented with these batteries, the man admitted to jamming these batteries up his urethra four weeks earlier whilst masturbating. The train of thought which led him to put lead in his pencil may in fact be similar to all of the other male "thrill seekers" who decide to risk their genitalia for the sake of sexual gratification. But even after reading all of these articles, that trainwreck of thought is completely unknown to me.

Bedi N., El-Husseiny T., Buchholz N. & Masood J. (2010). 'Putting lead in your pencil': self-insertion of an unusual urethral foreign body for sexual gratification, JRSM Short Reports, 1 (2) 18-18. DOI:

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