Another tool-related injury involved a Maryland woman who landed in the ER after an incident with a saber saw. In an attempt at a do-it-yourself sex toy, her partner had attached a dildo over the blade of the power saw and used it on the woman, ultimately injuring her when the saw cut through the plastic of the toy, NBC news reported.
Clearly, carpentry tools and sexual play do not mix. Another bizarre accident left one woman with mild genital burns after her boyfriend performed oral sex on her too soon after eating a hot sauce-laden meal, Dr. Gabe Wilson, associate medical director of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York reported.
Not all sexual injuries involve ill-advised sex toys or sexual acrobatics like those Smolinski tried. Most often, a simple muscle pull or stumble is enough to leaving you throbbing in a less-than-pleasurable way.
In the U.K. poll, the most common sex injury was a pulled muscle, with back injuries, carpet burns, and cricked necks pulling in close behind. And perhaps surprisingly, the most dangerous spots for sex were also the most ordinary: the sofa, a chair, or the shower.
The most common issue Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of "Because It Feels Good", hears about is small tears or cuts in the vagina, which can occur when sex is more vigorous and there isn't enough lubrication.
Women will often not feel any pain until after sex, because the arousal raises pain tolerance, Herbenick said, but if the cuts are sizable and bleeding doesn't stop on its own, a woman should seek medical attention to prevent infection.
Irritation or tearing from vigorous sex can be minimized by using a lubricant, she said, "but aside from that, there isn't much you can do. If you want to have rough sex, it's going to be rough."
While many sexual injuries are relatively mild, the exertion of coitus can be a trigger for life-threatening conditions.
The rush of ejaculation or orgasm has been known to trigger a subarachnoid hemorrhage when blood vessels in the brain burst. Patients are often symptomless until the rupture, but then experience sudden severe headache or loss of consciousness. This can be fatal if not treated immediately, Slovis said, and these symptoms should be taken seriously.
For those with known or yet-undiagnosed heart problems, the physical activity of sex can cause a heart attack. Viagra has only exacerbated this problem, Slovis noted, as many men who are not physically up to the exertion of intercourse go overboard. If chest pain is experienced during or after sex, seek medical help, he said.
These sexual hazards give new meaning to a desire for safe sex, but does this mean that protection has to take the form of knee pads and a helmet? Most of the safety tips are just common sense, says Dr. Mache Seibel, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "If anything causes discomfort it should be discontinued," he says. "Just because something is supposed to be fun, doesn't mean it works for you."