I wonder If a person without knowledge and tools cuts off somebody's penis and then doesn't call an ambulance immediately, is there a chance a person may not bleed to death within a short time?

I would also like to know if you can still urinate, while the cutting is done without some tool you put into urethra?

I haven't found much related to this topic.

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    it is quite common in Sinophere countries (but even in some Western ones) back in ancient time that people did this practice. People who was cut of his penis was called Eunuch. After being cut, they had to avoid eating or drinking (at least in three days) to heal the urethra. And sure, they (mostly) survived
    – Ooker
    Jun 15, 2015 at 16:04
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    @Ooker - This sounds like an answer to me! Would you consider fleshing it out a bit and posting? :-) Jun 15, 2015 at 20:19
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    @anongoodnurse but I can only give historical information. Those Eunuch actually got cared after the removal. I don't know what happens "if a person without knowledge and tools cuts off somebody's penis and then doesn't call an ambulance immediately", quote the OP
    – Ooker
    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:48
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    @Ooker - A slight misconception. A eunuch is someone that has had their testicles removed, not the penis. It was done primarily to ensure a place in certain societies, such as harem guards, treble (high pitch) male singers, etc., or as punishment for certain crimes.
    – JohnP
    Jun 16, 2015 at 16:28
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    @Ooker - That may be true, but the main goal of creating a eunuch was to remove the testicles to prevent sex hormones creating changes or preventing sexual urges. Some may have also removed the penis, but that would mostly be irrelevant in the intent of the procedure.
    – JohnP
    Jun 17, 2015 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


Assuming the person is not taking anticoagulants, it's actually quite difficult to bleed to death from dismemberment of small members (hands, feet, penis, ears, nose, etc). Even large members such as arms and legs are often survivable because the body is very good at protecting itself from blood loss. For example, transected arteries will spasm and clamp off blood flow, and loss of blood will cause the body to divert blood flow away from the extremities and to the vital organs, thereby slowing the bleeding and allowing it to clot. In fact, the whole shock process can be viewed as a set of defensive measures by the body to ensure survival in the face of serious injury. This was a bitter lesson learned by emergency medicine only fairly recently. The standard practice used to be to infuse hypovolemic patients with fluids to maintain normal blood pressure. The trouble is, a normal blood pressure prevents the body from realizing it has inadequate blood volume and turns off its defensive measures, thus allowing the bleeding to continue unabated.

Left to fend for himself, a healthy adult would almost certainly survive having his penis removed. With modern medical care, that becomes a certainty.

Could he still urinate? Sure, as long as the urethra wasn't blocked. It could become blocked by clotted blood, but eventually the pressure of a full bladder would overcome the blockage.

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    Downvoter, care to comment?
    – Carey Gregory
    Jun 18, 2015 at 0:04
  • Hmmm...I guess the downvoter didn't have the intestinal fortitude to come forward. All in all, this seems like a perfectly good answer, except possibly the lack of citations, which frankly, would not have caused me to downvote this answer, even if it were posted before I joined this SE community.
    – BillDOe
    Mar 1, 2016 at 6:39
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    Where are the citations? Aug 18, 2018 at 18:31
  • For legs you don't bleed to death if the dismemberment isn't occured at the femoral artery which is a vital blood vessel. Jul 15, 2023 at 21:54

The problem is there are too many unknowns. First, the speed of clotting varies from person to person. There are lab tests that measure clotting time (e.g. INR), especially useful when a patient takes anticoagulants. One respondent mentioned the absence of anticoagulants, but anticoagulants include substances not specifically prescribed to reduce clotting, such as supplements and even food items that reduce clotting. Further, there are genetic factors (i.e. Factor VIII and others) that modulate clotting time, operating independently of medical intervention/prescribed drugs or anything consumed. Age is another facet in the clotting process, as infants often do not clot quickly. Couple that fact with the smaller quantity of blood in an infant's body and it makes sense why some infants actually die from circumcision related bleeding. An infant may retain his penis after circumcision but still die from operation related blood loss.

Additionally, the penis is different than other appendages and extremities. Besides the difference in tissue composition (smooth muscle vs. skeletal muscle elsewhere), penile arteries dilate more than arteries elsewhere and veins constrict more than veins elsewhere (assuming one has generally healthy blood vessels prior to injury). The unique elasticity of penile blood vessels mean that a traumatic injury like penile amputation is more likely to bleed continuously than many other amputations when taking into account the relative area of tissue amputated and blood vessels severed. Other than the femoral or carotid arteries, which, due to their own unique locations, are more likely to cause death from dissection than severing other arteries, the penis is again unique in that the arteries both inside and leading to it do not always clamp off- sometimes, they remain dilated even after a severing injury.

One of the biggest factors of survival (a somewhat controllable factor) in this case is time. The more time elapses after amputation without subsequent medical intervention, the more likely death becomes.

Death from penile amputation can arise not simply from blood loss but also from related issues such as overall stress and pain. Stress hormones and an inflammatory chemical cascade following such a traumatic injury can overwhelm the heart.

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    Hi! Your question is exhaustive and provides some interesting insights. Would you mind adding some references to support your claims? Thank you. Best regards. M. Arrowsmith Aug 14, 2016 at 21:14

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