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What is priapism?

What is priapism?
What is priapism?

What is priapism?

Priapism is a spontaneous erection, the reason for this phenomenon is not sexual excitement, the duration of it ranges from 4 to 6 hours and this phenomenon is frequently characterized by pain. Priapism can occur at any age but more common it is among boys aged 5 to 10 and men aged 20 to 50. Such a condition is not considered very common, but requires prompt treatment.

Priapism causes

Causes of primary priapism have not been studied. But of the secondary are as follows:

  • Use of certain medicines for impotence
  • In boys the cause of the condition is considered to be sickle-cell anemia
  • Coagulation failure
  • Some nervous system disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Malignancies malaria, absence of spleen

Symptoms of priapism consist in the following:

  • The tip of the penis is not filled with blood, and as if hanging over the excited penis
  • Painful sensations, growing until the erection disappears sharp pain that permeates the whole body at the root of the penis, can also be felt at the rectum and groin areas
  • Lack of sexual drive, but there is a desire to make love, which does not bring relief
  • Problematic urination due to lifted up sexual organ
  • Redness of the skin of the penis, which in consequence may acquire bluish color

Intermittent night priapism can occur in men as a painful erection during sleep. At the beginning of the illness erection during awakening does not occurs too often, but over some time this phenomenon becomes more frequent and may occur several times during the night. Erection becomes weaker after the moment of awakening, walking, workout and emptying of the rectum or bladder. Intermittent night priapism is considered a rare pathological condition, but men can encounter this problem at any age and sometimes it is so severe that the man can’t sleep.

Ischemic priapism is most frequently encountered form of the illness. The main features are sharp pain that, with a long course of the disease, does not disappear completely. Ischemic priapism manifests itself by impaired venous blood flow due to stagnation or blood viscosity, thrombus formation.

Priapism and its diagnostics

Diagnostics of the morbid state is carried out by an urologist or a surgeon. Diagnosis consists in survey of the ill and examination of the penis, figuring features. In order to determine the form of the condition, do ultrasound of the vessels of the sexual organ. Can also be taken a puncture of the cavernous bodies with blood sampling to determine whether blood flow is broken or not. If the blood is dark this is a sign of ischemic priapism.


Upon detection of signs of the morbid condition, the ill must immediately see a specialist. The earlier treatment starts, the better would be its effectiveness. Initially, the curing process starts with the application of conservative methods, which consist in the following procedures:

  • Attaching to the sexual member something cold
  • Puncturing the corpora cavernosa under local anesthesia

At the hospital under medical supervision at the beginning of the illness is conducted puncture of cavernous bodies of the penis. The procedure is done with a special needle, which suctioned off surplus blood. Conservative therapy may be ineffective and accomplish more a supporting role. It makes sense to treat the underlying illness, provoking priapism.

With the ineffectiveness of the above described kind of the treatment use a surgical kind. This type of intervention involves the creation of a draining vessel, which is located between the veins of the penis and other veins. This method allows speeding up blood flow. Your medical specialist must prepare you for the fact that even after the end of the therapy for some time erectile weakness may occur. After a while, erectile function is recovered, however if you need to restore it urgently there are medicines to help you, such as Apcalis oral jelly.

With the ineffectiveness of surgery could be conducted implantation of prosthetic of the male sexual organ.

Not ischemic kind of priapism doesn’t require special therapy. Since there is no risk of tissue injury, the specialist may recommend applying cold to the genitals. In all forms of the disease usually prescribe adrenoceptor agonists.

If the cause of the illness is revealed during the diagnostic process, it must be cured along with the treatment of priapism. With properly prescribed treatment sex life will return to normal quite fast.


Do not delay to take care of illness in connection with the possible development of complications:

  • Impotence
  • Gangrene of tissues
  • Venous thrombosis
  • Infectious complications


Prophylaxis consists in the following tips:

  • Try to avoid injuries of the sexual member or perineum
  • Pass an annual medical examination for early detection conditions that may provoke development of priapism
  • Maintain a healthy way of life: do not abuse alcohol and narcotic substances
  • Do not use medicines for enhancing potency without consulting your personal physician beforehand

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