Men's Health Tips

Priapism and Impotence

Priapism is a condition wherein a man experiences penile erection without sexual stimulation for an extended time. The erection may last a few hours or even days. In addition to being embarrassing and inconvenient, priapism is often painful and it can result in extensive tissue damage to the penis, as well as long-term impotence if not treated promptly.

Fortunately, it is uncommon compared to other forms of sexual dysfunction, and many men can return to normal sex lives after receiving proper treatment.

In general, priapism results from a disturbance to the mechanisms that control penile detumescence (the process by which the penis becomes flaccid). Blood enters the penis, but it cannot drain properly because it becomes trapped in the corpora cavernosa, a large chamber in the penis. The penis glans (head) and area around the urethra, however, remain flaccid.

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