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Priapismic Erection Disorder: What Causes Abnormal Erections?

priapismic erection disorder

What Is Priapismic Erection Disorder?

Priapismic erection disorder refers to an abnormal, unrelenting erection. Normally, when a man gets aroused, the blood flow to his penis increases, filling the shaft with blood and resulting in a stiff erection. When the man reaches sexual climax, the blood flow returns to normal in the penis and the shaft softens to its normal, flaccid state. This is not the case in priapismic erection disorder…


In priapismic erection disorder, penile blood flow does not return to normal after sexual climax. Instead, it remains full in the vessels in the shaft, leaving the penis in the stiff state of erection. When this goes on for an extended period of time, it results in severe pain and sensitivity in the penis. If it is not relieved promptly by medical intervention, it can lead to scarring of the penile tissue and the inability to achieve normal erections in the future.

Who Does It Affect and What Causes It?

Priapismic erection disorder is most common in young males (typically under the age of 10) and adult males between the ages of 20 and 50. Blood disorders such as sickle cell disease are most often the cause of this disorder in young males. In adult males, priapismic erection disorder is most often brought on by prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. Rare cases of priapismic erection disorder may be caused by prostate cancer, a spinal cord injury, or an injury to the penis.

priapismic erection disorder

What Can Be Done About These Abnormal Erections?

As we stated earlier, any incidence of priapismic erection disorder should be treated by a medical professional immediately. If not treated within 12 to 24 hours of onset, one of these abnormal erections can lead to permanent impotence or scarring of the penis. So how exactly is priapismic erection disorder treated?

When an incidence of the disorder presents, there are several things that can be done to restore normal blood flow to the penis. Applying ice to the penis can help, as well as walking around and remaining active. While these initial actions can help ease symptoms early on, actual medical treatment is almost always necessary to resolve the condition and avoid long term problems. When treating priapismic erection disorder, a doctor will likely inject the penis directly with a medication that narrows blood vessels, such as Phenylephrine. Narrowing the blood vessels in the penis will help reduce the blood flow to that area and decrease enlargement. In more urgent cases, the doctor may actually need to manually drain the blood from the penis or place a shunt to drain the blood, which will help to reduce the swelling.

abnormal erection

Is there any way to prevent priapismic erection disorder in the first place? For cases that affect children, preventing these instances usually relies on treating the underlying condition that is causing the abnormal erections. For adult men, the most common cause of these abnormal erections is the use of prescription erectile dysfunction drugs. If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction or impotence, using a natural male enhancement supplement may be a better way to treat those conditions. These supplements can actually resolve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction without leading to abnormal erections!

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