A man in South Africa was hospitalised after putting a wedding ring on his penis on the advice of friends. The 28-year-old suffered from the rarely described condition of "penile strangulation" after putting the ring on his penis for "erotic reasons".

He arrived at the Van Velden Hospital in a rural part of Limpopo Province. His penis was severely swollen and blue, with the ring constricting the middle section of his penis.

Doctors who treated him have now described the case in the South African Medical Journal. "The patient reported that he had applied the ring 4 hours previously for erotic reasons, on the recommendation of friends. His wife had delivered 2 weeks ago by caesarean section," they wrote.

"The penis was erect and blue and the patient was in severe pain. His vital signs were normal. The patient was immediately taken to the casualty theatre."

penis wedding ring
Man put wedding ring on penis. Fhima et al/SAMJ

Physicians tried a number of methods to remove the ring, but their initial attempts failed as the ring was too wide and strong, and there was too much swelling. Eventually they were able to remove the ring using an "aspiration method", which resulted in the swelling going down.

"The patient was admitted and treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and analgesia. Within three days he had recovered completely and was discharged. One month later, the patient was reviewed as an outpatient. He reported full recovery."

Concluding, the team said penile strangulation is a rare emergency, but happens across the world. "Penile strangulation is a rarely described medical emergency. Removal of the strangulating object is challenging. No proper guidelines exist for the treatment of this condition, so the 'best method' is the one with a successful outcome," they added.