Priapism (prolonged Erection)


How to manage a prolonged Erection (Priapism)?

Most men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are encouraged to get an erection after using ED medications.

But if the erection lasts for a few hours or causes pain or discomfort, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. In some cases, it can also be a medical emergency.

Prolonged erections are a rare side effect of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as Aurogra 100 sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®),Vidalista 40 tadalafil (Cialis®), Vilitra 60 mg vardenafil (Levitra®), and Avana 100 mg avanafil (sold as Stendra®). is known.

Prolonged erection, called priapism, affects only a small percentage of men who use erectile dysfunction drugs.

However, this side effect can damage the penis, so it is important to seek emergency medical attention if you are affected.

Read on to learn more about priapism, including what priapism is, common symptoms, and key factors that can cause these types of persistent and potentially damaging erections. Let’s learn.

It also explains what to do if you have a long-lasting erection that doesn’t go away on its own.

What is Prolonged Erection (Priapism)?

Priapism is a condition that causes a persistent and sometimes painful erection. This is when an erection lasts for more than 4 hours without sexual stimulation. Priapism is rare, but when it occurs it usually affects men in their 30s.

Low-flow or ischemic priapism occurs when blood clogs the erectile chambers. Ruptured arteries that prevent proper blood flow to the penis cause elevated blood flow or non-ischemic priapism. The cause could be the injury.

An erection that lasts longer than 4 hours is a medical emergency. Oxygen-deficient blood in the penis can damage penile tissue. Untreated priapism can cause damage or destruction of penile tissue and permanent erectile dysfunction.

Types of Prolonged Erection

There are three main types of priapism: ischemic priapism, non-ischemic priapism, and recurrent ischemic priapism or stuttering.

  1. Ischemic priapism (Low-flow Priapism)

Ischemic priapism, or low-flow priapism, occurs when there is little or no blood flow to the tissues of the penis.

When blood gets trapped inside the penis, the pressure in the body begins to increase, causing pain and discomfort.

This type of priapism is a medical emergency. If left untreated, increased blood pressure and insufficient blood flow can lead to hypoxia (low oxygen levels), tissue ischemia (reduced nutrient intake), and acidosis (acid buildup in the genital tissues).

2. non-ischemic priapism (High-flow Priapism)

Non-ischemic priapism, or high-flow priapism, occurs when there is continuous blood flow to the penis, but blood flow is not regulated and completely trapped within the penis.

Unlike ischemic priapism, which can be painful, non-ischemic priapism usually involves weak erections that aren’t completely still.

This type of priapism does not usually cause damage to the erectile tissue in the penis and is not considered a medical emergency.

3. Recurrent Ischemic Priapism (Stuttering Priapism)

Recurrent ischemic priapism, or stuttering priapism, is a form of priapism that involves painful, prolonged erections that go away on their own.

These erections usually last less than 3 hours and often require medical attention.

This type of priapism is more common in people with sickle cell anemia. It often occurs at night and can include multiple erections of increasing duration.

Symptoms of Prolonged Erection (Priapism)

The symptoms of priapism vary in type and severity depending on the type of priapism. If you have an ischemic priapism, you may experience the following symptoms:

Long-term erections are not associated with sexual arousal. An erection can last without physical sexual contact or erotic images. An erection lasting more than 4 hours is generally considered a priapism.

Hard, hard penis with soft glans. Persistent erections make the penis stiff, but the glans (the tip of the penis) and cavernous body (the lower part of the penis) remain soft. This difference in stiffness is due to the fact that these tissue areas have their own venous drainage system that is separate from the main erectile tissue of the penis.

Pain that may worsen over time. Ischemic priapism is usually painful. After an erection, the penis may start to hurt, and the pain may worsen as the pressure level in the erectile tissue increases.

Ischemic priapism is a serious medical emergency. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Non-ischemic priapism, or high-flow priapism, causes slightly different symptoms than ischemic priapism.

In this type of priapism, the penis may feel stiff, but not completely firm. Non-ischemic priapism is usually painless with minimal tenderness or discomfort.

What Causes Prolonged Erection?

A normal penis erection is triggered by physical or physiological stimuli. Increased blood flow to the penis causes an erection. After stimulation, blood flow decreases and the erection stops.

In priapism, there is a problem with blood flow to the penis. Various conditions affect blood circulation in and out of the penis. These disorders and diseases include:

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma

About 42% of adults with sickle cell disease will experience a priapism at some point in their lives.

A priapism can also occur if you take certain prescription drugs or abuse alcohol, marijuana, or other illegal drugs that can affect blood flow to your penis.

  • Erectile dysfunction treatment
  • Antidepressant
  • Alpha blockers
  • Drugs for anxiety disorders
  • Anticoagulant
  • Hormone therapy
  • Medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Black Widow Spider Bite
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neurotic disorders
  • Cancer related to the penis

Priapism due to erectile dysfunction drugs is not common

If you’ve read news articles about Fildena 100mg purple pill best medication to cure Erectile Dysfunction, you may have seen references to “four-hour erections” and other long-lasting erections.

In fact, according to the media, it’s easy to get the impression that long, painful erections are a common side effect of erectile dysfunction drugs.

This is an error. Drugs like Viagra 100mg can cause side effects, but priapism is a very rare problem.

In total, experts estimate that there are about 0.73 cases of priapism per 100,000 men each year.

To put these numbers into perspective, approximately 30 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction and millions of men often use Viagra, Cialis online and generic equivalents.

What is the treatment for priapism?

Treatment depends on whether you have low- or high-flow priapism.

For low-flow priapism, doctors may use a needle and syringe to remove excess blood from the penis. It can relieve pain and stop involuntary erections.

Another treatment is to inject drugs into the penis. This drug constricts the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis and dilates the blood vessels that carry blood out of the penis. Increased blood flow can reduce erections.

If none of these treatments work, your doctor may recommend surgery to help blood flow to the penis.

High-yield priapism may not require immediate treatment. This type of priapism often resolves on its own. Your doctor can check your condition before prescribing treatment. Cold therapy with ice packs can get rid of involuntary erections. Doctors may suggest surgery to stop blood flow to the penis or to repair arteries damaged by penile injuries.

If priapism recurs, you may also want to talk to your doctor about taking a decongestant such as phenylephrine (neosynephrine) to reduce blood flow to the penis. Also, hormone blockers and erectile dysfunction. You may also use drugs. If an underlying condition such as sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder, or cancer is the cause of priapism, seek treatment for the underlying problem to correct and prevent future priapism.


  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, July, 8). Priapism: Diagnosis
  • Healthline – priapism