After seeing the first round of commercials for the “little blue pill” years ago, men often joked about one of the warnings: “Contact your doctor if you have an erection lasting four hours or more.” A never-ending erection? Most men were wondering where they could sign up for such a wonderful thing! But when it comes to penis health, more time does not translate into more manliness. In fact, an erection that lasts too long can lead to significant penis problems. The technical name is priapism, and a man should know what to do if this ever happens to him.
What is priapism?
Priapism is exactly what the commercials warned men about – it’s a situation in which an erection lasts for four hours or longer, without constant sexual stimulation to keep it going. In most cases, an erection that lasts for more than half an hour is going to be somewhat painful; going on four hours is going to hurt even more. Though a guy might initially think this seems like a fun situation to be in, the fact is that an erection lasting that long can be very bad for penis health, as it actually impedes blood flow and thus, doesn’t allow enough oxygen to the delicate tissues.
There are two types of priapism: low-flow and high-flow. Those with low-flow priapism are suffering from blood trapped in the penis. This can be caused by many things, and often appears in men who are otherwise healthy. Documented causes can include sickle-cell anemia or leukemia (usually in men for whom the condition has been confirmed), marijuana or cocaine use, malaria, the bite of the black widow spider, trauma to the spine or genital area, or even carbon monoxide poisoning.
High-flow priapism is often caused by an injury to the penis that results in a ruptured artery. This often results in a great deal of immediate pain and other symptoms; in other words, it’s impossible to “wait it out” and see if the problem goes away.
Men who are dealing with priapism are at great risk of scarring inside the penis, permanent loss of sensation, and perhaps even permanent loss of function. A man who has an erection that just won’t go down should go to the emergency room. It’s important to explain everything to the doctor, including any illicit drug use, to get the proper treatment as soon as possible.
Treatments for priapism
When a man goes into the emergency room with priapism, there are a few things they can try. The first is the use of ice packs to try and encourage the blood vessels to shrink. Another option could be using a local anesthetic to numb the area and then removing some of the blood in the penis via syringe; though it’s cringe-worthy to think about, it’s often a welcome relief to a guy who is hurting with an erection that just won’t quit.
Other options include using a surgical shunt to remove the blood, especially if it has happened in the past. There are also injectable drugs that provide an opportunity for the blood vessels to release the trapped blood.
Those who are dealing with high-flow priapism will face a different situation, as this is a true emergency that will require emergency surgery. Fortunately, this is an exceedingly rare form of priapism that very few men will ever have to worry about.
A guy who is worried about priapism or other penis problems will want to do whatever he can to assure his good penis health. That’s why a specially formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is great for daily penis care. A man should look for all the elements of good penis health, including vitamin A for odor control, vitamin B for smoother skin and vitamin E for hydration. Amino acids, antioxidants and more all wrapped up in a luxurious Shea butter base can help ensure the supplest skin possible.