What Is Priapism Disease? Its Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Priapism is a rare medical condition that affects men within the age group of 20 to 50 years, though at times it is known to affect boys of 5 years to 10 years. In this condition, the penis gets erected without any sexual stimulation, and does not return to its flaccid state for around four hours.

If this medical condition is not treated immediately, it can cause tissue damage, which in can turn can result in erectile dysfunction. Priapism is categorized into two types, one being the low-flow while the other high-flow.

In low-flow priapism, blood does not flow freely from penis to body. High-flow priapism is a much a rare condition and is also less painful. It is caused due to artery rupture after any injury to perineum or penis.

Signs And Symptoms Of Priapism

The most prominent symptom of priapism is erection which continues for around four hours and does not get relieved even after orgasm or after a shower. For some people the symptom of this disease may get manifested as on and off erection.

Either of these symptoms may be accompanied with pain and tenderness of the penis. Though the shaft of the penis becomes rigid, the prepuce remains a soft. The symptoms of high-flow and low-flow priapism are almost similar.

What Are The Causes Of Priapism?

Sickle-cell disease is one of the major causes of priapism and almost 42% of adult men get priapism due to this disease. Sudden injury to the genital area or the spinal cord can also lead to this condition. Though rare, some people get this condition after the bite of black widow spider.

Poisoning from carbon monoxide is also a significant cause of priapism. Taking pills for depression or psychological problems can also lead to priapism.

Addiction to cocaine, marijuana or alcohol may also cause priapism. In very few cases, cancer of the penis may prevent outflow of the blood from the penis leading to priapism.

Treatment For Priapism

Priapism warrants immediate medical attention. Discussing in details with a doctor about your erection duration, the number of times it happened and the complications you experienced and about your addictions if any can help him zero in on the cause.

In case, you get this condition after any injury, you need to let the doctor examine the injury. After learning about the symptoms, doctors generally recommend some medical tests and then commence the treatment.

Depending on the severity of the affliction, doctors may either prescribe oral medications or administer drugs directly into the penis. In some cases, doctors may also prescribe blood thinner drugs to get things under control.

Antidepressants or psychotic drugs might also be required in some cases. Home treatment is seldom useful for treatment of priapism. Yet, it is recommended to avoid alcohol or any kind of drugs during the treatment procedure and even after.

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