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Priapism is a very rare condition that leads to an uncontrolled erection that lasts for a long time. It is painful.
Sexual stimulation might be involved but there are also other causes like medications, medical conditions, or recreational medicines.
In case, you experience priapism then quick and immediate treatment is necessary as it will help to prevent tissue damage.
The problem of priapism occurs when blood in the male sexual organ gets trapped and is not able to drain. If the condition is not treated on time then you can suffer from scarring and permanent erectile dysfunction.
This medical condition can occur in all age groups including newborn babies. Though, priapism generally affects men in two different age groups i.e., between the age of 5 to 10 and 20 to 50.
Two main types of priapism include: low-flow and high-flow
When you suffer from low-flow priapism, the blood gets trapped in the erection chambers. This condition occurs in men without a known cause who are otherwise healthy. It also affects men suffering from sickle-cell disease, malaria, or leukemia.
It is a very rare and not painful condition. High-flow priapism is the result of a ruptured artery from an injury to the male sexual organ. This further prevents blood in the male reproductive organ from circulating properly.
Men suffering from priapism usually experience prolonged erection as the primary symptom. However, other symptoms mainly depend upon the type of priapism that occurs.
Some of the common symptoms of ischemic priapism are stated below:
It is important to know that non-ischemic priapism is generally painless and causes an erection that is not rigid completely.
When it comes to priapism, there are several causes. Some of them are stated below:
Thus, these are some major reasons that cause men to suffer from priapism.
The treatment of priapism usually depends upon the type as well as the cause. A doctor will first do an evaluation and then accordingly decide whether a patient is suffering from ischemic or non-ischemic and the cause linked to it.
In case, the male reproductive organ has been erect for less than 4 hours then the doctor might recommend decongestant medicines. These medications help to reduce the flow of blood to the male sexual organ. This further becomes effective in decreasing the erection.
If the erection lasts for 4-6 hours, medicine is generally effective.
After 6 hours, or if the medicine is ineffective, other measures are required. These mainly include:
Ischemic priapism can cause severe complications. It is important to understand that the blood trapped in the male sexual organ is deprived of oxygen.
When an erection last for a long time mainly for more than four hours. This lack of oxygen can further start to damage or destroy the tissues present in the male sexual organ. Remember untreated priapism can lead to the condition of erectile dysfunction.
So, if you experience a painful or rare persistent erection then it is necessary to contact the doctor immediately. In case, you experience ischemic priapism, then the doctor might perform a procedure, recommend medicine, or take other steps to drain the male sexual organ of blood.