You may wish for a long-lasting erection especially if you want to give satisfaction to your partner, but if it occurs for more than four hours, then it is not okay. If this happens, then you are most likely affected by priapism. This is an abnormal condition that will make you experience a prolonged and oftentimes painful erection.

This kind of erection is not usually due to sexual stimulation or sexual desire. An erection will not be relieved even if you already ejaculated. The prolonged erection is usually caused by problems with the blood vessels or nerves in your penis. The blood on the tissues in your penis remained trapped, which results in a continuous erection.

Do you know that this is a rare type of condition? But this could affect men in all age groups, even newborn babies. This condition should be given immediate medical attention as it is said to lead to a worse condition, such as permanent erectile dysfunction. And the treatment should be made within 24 hours. Otherwise, you will be at a high risk of damaging your penis.

Types of Priapism

Low blood flow priapism

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Low blood flow priapism is a common type of priapism, but the most dangerous of all because it can cause serious and permanent damage in your penis if not given immediate medical attention. This kind of priapism is as a result of the blood being trapped in your penile tissue either because the blood vessels are blocked or the penile muscles do not contract normally to allow the blood to squeeze out from the penis.

Moreover, if the blood is trapped in your penis, it will not be replaced by new blood, which is supposedly responsible for providing oxygen, as well as other nutrients, for making the tissues work properly.

If this happens, then your penis will permanently be damaged as the tissues affected die. This will also inhibit you from getting an erection. This is the reason why you must seek medical attention immediately, especially that your erection lasts for more than 4 hours.

High-blood flow priapism

Although this kind of priapism is rare, it is important to understand it. This usually happens when you attain injury to your genitals or surrounding areas. You experience prolonged erection because one of the blood vessels is ruptured, which makes the flowing of the blood in the penile tissue out of control.

Stuttering priapism

This kind of priapism is the same with low blood flow priapism, except that it occurs in episodes. The erection is re-occurring and painful, which last for 2 to 3 hours before it goes back to a limp state. The erection may happen while you are sleeping or maybe before or after sexual stimulation. This can also cause permanent damage to the penis that is why it is essential to seek immediate medical attention.

Causes of Priapism

Medicines

Priapism may be a possible side effect of prescription medicines, as well as illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and marijuana. Prescription medicines, such as anticoagulants and methylphenidate, can cause prolonged erections.

Drugs that are used to cure people suffering from mental illness such as depression and schizophrenia might also result in the same. Injections for treating impotence and some hormone medications can also result in low-blood flow priapism.

Sickle cell disease and other blood diseases

Do you know that studies show that 42 percent of adults who have sickle cell disease will most likely develop priapism? Sickle cell disease is a serious red blood cell disorder that is usually known as an inherited form of anemia.

This is a condition wherein your body does not have sufficient healthy red blood cells capable of carrying enough oxygen throughout your body. And yes, this condition is life-threating and could lead to mortality.

Priapism is also an indication of serious blood conditions such as blood clots, blood cancers, and thalassemia.

Other causes

Priapism may also be an indication that you are suffering from conditions affecting your nervous system. You may be suffering from spinal cord injuries or brain tumors. It may also be a sign of tumors of the kidney, bladder, or prostate, which affects the blood flow to your penis. It may also be a symptom of infections in your genitals.

Will it Lead to Death?

injury in the groin

Prolonged erections are not normal. It should not last longer than 4 hours. It is best to seek medical attention within 24 hours if you have not been relieved from erection. Although a lot of health articles explain that it may result in permanent erectile dysfunction, logic tells us that priapism will certainly lead to death if not given immediate medical attention.

As you already know, priapism may be due to some other conditions such as sickle cell diseases, brain tumors, and blood cancers. These are just a few causes of priapism. If this is not diagnosed early, then you will also not be able to determine that you are suffering from a more serious condition, which is life-threatening and could eventually lead to mortality.

Conclusion

If the blood is trapped in your penis, then you will most likely develop priapism. Priapism is a prolonged erection of the penis, and it is usually painful. That is the reason why if you are suffering from the same, you need to seek help from your doctor immediately; otherwise, you will be at a high risk of permanent erectile dysfunction. Much worse, it may be caused by a more serious condition that will eventually lead to death.

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