Priapism: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of Painful Erection in Men

What is a priapism and painful erection?

Priapism penis disorder describes a long-lasting, undesired, painful erection. It can cause significant pain and is rarely related to arousal.

Priapism is generally considered to be a medical emergency as failing to intervene in a timely manner can result in infection, impotence or other sexual disorders. If you ever display any of the symptoms described in this article, admit yourself to the nearest hospital, or dial the emergency services immediately. Left untreated, it has the potential to cause long term, even permanent damage to the genitals.

Priapism can affect men of all ages and is defined as an erection persisting in excess of four hours.

The symptoms and potential causes of Priapism disorder

In normal sexual functioning, when a man is aroused his arterial vessels dilate which allows the soft penile tissues more access to oxygenated blood. Simultaneously, valves at the bottom of the penis close, which prevents blood from escaping. This causes the phenomenon we know as an erection. Once sex has concluded, valves widen, blood flows back into the body, and the penis reverts to its limp state.

One of the principle causes of priapism is some an undiagnosed prior condition. Some risk factors for priapism include:

Prescription medications, illicit narcotics, and even alcohol can raise your potential of experiencing priapism. Substances known to be hazardous in the development of this syndrome include:

  • Medicaments used in the treatment of ED
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood thinners
  • Alpha-blockers
  • ADD medication

Physical trauma can cause an erection lasting longer than 4 hours

Also, trauma that relates or indirect pelvic trauma, can result in one of the forms of priapism. As can damage to the thick, central bundle of neurons that connect the brain to the rest of the body. This prevent the flow of signals from the brain to the veins and arteries of the penis. (Click here to visit online pharmacy)

The venom imparted by certain insects in their bite or in their sting can cause this disease, including the deadly fangs of the infamous latrodectus spider, more commonly known as the black widow. However, if you find yourself on the receiving end of one of these, you may have bigger concerns.

How To Treat Priapism depends on its type

Two types exist – Ischemic and nonischemic priapism. Both present with analogous symptoms, mainly a painful erection and erection longer than 4 hours, but methods of treatment can differ radically. The type of priapism will need to be confirmed to ensure that treatment is germane. To do this, a small amount of blood is drawn directly from the penis and analysed for its oxygen content. If a subnormal concentration of oxygen is observed by the clinician, low-flow (ischemic) priapism is the cause, otherwise, high-flow (non-ischemic) priapism is indicated.

A medical professional may also wish to conduct an ultrasound of the sexual apparatus to determine whether or not an underlying trauma or injury is responsible.

Numerous different methods of remedy can be considered, and will be peculiar to the specific type of priapism that is present. A needle can be utilised to draw out excess blood, relieving pain and the immediate involuntary erection in ischemic priapism.

An alternative involves injecting a sympathomimetic substance into the penile veins. Administering drugs in this way produces very rapid action, and allows the vessels to open up fully. It is important for the patient to be closely examined during treatment for any secondary effects that may occur. Some of the more commonly obvious include dizziness, cranial pain and an elevated blood pressure reading.

Surgery is available as a last resort in treatment-resistant cases when other options have been exhausted. This involves a surgeon either blocking an artery or tying it off. In this way, problematic blood flow can be directed away from the affected tissues of the penis to other areas of the body. The surgeon may also opt to create a shunt that redirects blood flow away from the affected penile tissues.

Fortunately for non-ischemic priapism sufferers, this condition frequently resolves itself without intercession.

In some cases, particularly for sufferers of sickle cell anaemia, this condition may be recurrent. In these cases, a decongestant may reduce the movement of blood travelling to the penis. This is often the most effective option for your doctor to prescribe. Alternately, injections containing hormone-blocking substances may be employed to similar effect.

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