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Scientists find microplastics in penises of men who underwent erectile dysfunction surgery

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Scientists have found microplastics in human penises for the first time ever.

Microplastics are extremely small pieces of plastic debris. 

They are formed when larger plastics break down through chemical degradation or other means. 

In a study whose results were published in IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal on Wednesday, the scientists took samples from six participants who underwent surgery for an inflatable penile prosthesis, which is a treatment option for men with severe erectile dysfunction.

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The samples were then analysed using chemical imaging, which revealed that five of the six men had microplastics in their penile tissue.

The scientists said seven different types of microplastics were detected, with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) being the most prevalent.

Ranjith Ramasamy, an expert in reproductive urology, who led the research while working at the University of Miami, said he used a previous study that found evidence of microplastics in the human heart as basis for his research.

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Ramasamy said he was not surprised to find microplastics in the penis as it is a “very vascular organ” like the heart.

He added that more research is needed to investigate potential links to conditions such as erectile dysfunction.

“We need to identify whether microplastics are linked to ED and if there is a level beyond which it causes pathology and what types of microplastics are pathologic,” he said.

“We hope to create more awareness about the presence of foreign bodies within human organs and foster more research surrounding this topic.”

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