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Priapism: The Constant Erection

March 21st, 2018

Priapism: The Constant Erection

Priapism: The Constant Erection

Priapism: The Constant Erection,Priapism is commonly known as the “constant erection”. Abnormal blood flow to the penis can result in prolonged erections that last many hours. Priapism can last for several hours and is not necessarily caused by sexual stimulation. Those who suffer from the priapism condition usually experience severe pain and should seek medical attention without delay, as severe tissue damage can ensue.

Main Types

 There are two main types of priapism. One may be diagnosed with either ischemic (low-flow) or non-ischemic (high-flow) priapism. Ischemic priapism happens when the blood gets confined to the erection chambers. This trap of blood can be a side effect of malaria or leukemia. If not treated properly, it can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction and scarring. The less common of the two is nonischemic priapism. Although rarer, it is the less painful. Nonischemic priapism is usually a result of injury to either the penis, scrotum, or perineum. There is a high probability that these injuries lead to artery ruptures, resulting in lack of blood flow to the penis.

What Causes Priapism?

 Sickle cell anemia is the common cause of priapism. Scientists have stated that about 40% of men with sickle cell diseases will get priapism during their lifetime. Perhaps the most notable cause of priapism is associated with Viagra and other medications that prevent erectile dysfunction. In addition, some anti-depressant, mental illness medications, and blood thinners can also lead to priapism.
Besides the influence external factors mentioned above, priapism can happen when a part of the circulation system function abnormally. Several factors can lead to the change in normal blood flow, resulting in a persisting erection.


Serious complications can arise if priapism is not attended to and treated properly. Once the blood is trapped in the penis, it becomes deprived of oxygen. The lack of oxygen in the blood can not only damage the tissues but can begin to destroy them. This results in a greater risk of penile dysfunction or permanent erection complications.


Because there is a severity of damage that can be caused by not properly treating priapism, it is highly suggested to consult a medical professional. There are many steps in helping make the erection go away, and preventative measures to take to prevent erectile dysfunction. Some include: minimizing swelling through cold temperature, removing blood to ease pressure, and issuing medication that thin the blood vessels. Doctors also may perform an arterial embolization (block artery that is causing the problem) or a surgical ligation (tying off the artery).
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