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Priapism or prolonged erection, it is usually painful erection that lasts more than four hours and occurs without sexual stimulation.
The condition for the appearance of priapism is a situation in which the blood is retained in the penis and is not able to find the estuary. In the lack of appropriate action, can lead to many problems including scarring and permanent erectile dysfunction.
This disorder can occur in all age groups, including newborns. But usually, this will affect men between the ages of 5 to 10 and 20 to 50 years.
Priapism comes in two main types:
- Low flow – which resulted in the stopping of blood in the corpora cavernosa; often its cause is unknown;
- High flow – rare form is usually not painful; caused by rupture of an artery after injury surrounding the penis or the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus), which causes disturbances in blood flow to the penis.
The causes of priapism
Among the leading causes of priapism include:
- sickle cell disease – priapism occurs in up to 40% of patients;
- the use of drugs as Desyrel (to treat depression and sleep disorders) or tyrazyna (supporting treatment of some mental illnesses); other medicinal products for the emergence of priapism include those used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction;
The causes of priapism are also:
- spinal cord injuries, or in the genital area,
- Black Widow spider bite,
- carbon monoxide poisoning,
- consumption of illegal drugs as cocaine or marijuana,
- rarely also include some cancers, which may affect blood flow to the penis.
Diagnosis and treatment of priapism
In case the erection persists after a few hours, it is necessary to visit the doctor. After a general physical examination and medical history is carried out, the measurement of blood gases from the penis, which allows evaluating the type of priapism.
The treatment of problem is to stop the unwanted erections and help in maintaining the ability to get an erection in the future. If the notification to the doctor, occurs within four to six hours, weakness, of erection requires treatment with medication. On the other hand, in cases where the erection lasted less are used decongestants – which eases the flow of blood to the penis.
However, there are also other techniques such as:
- ice packs, which allow for soothing the pain and helping reduce swelling;
- the surgical ligation – is used in cases of breaking an artery, which contributed to priapism, which can restore the normal rush of blood; in exceptional circumstances, other available surgical procedures;
- intracavernous injection of alprostadil, which is helpful with the low-flow priapism because it allows the arteries to shrink reducing the flow of blood to the penis and alleviating edema;
- aspiration – with the paralysis of the penis, blood is drained with a needle, which helps reduce swelling and decrease pressure;
In the event of priapism, it is necessary to fast to go to the doctor because the later obtained will help, the greater the risk of permanent erectile dysfunction and penile distortion.
It is not always possible to prevent this problem, but if you take any medicines that cause side effects in the form of erectile dysfunction, the change might help to avoid unpleasant consequences.