How to Deal with a Permanent Erection

11 of 15 in Series: The Essentials of Men’s Sexual Health

What's commonly called a permanent erection is an erection that won’t go away within four hours; the medical term for this condition is priapism. In priapism, blood becomes trapped in the penis and cannot flow out. A permanent erection isn't a sign of masculinity, but of a true medical problem.

Anyone who has an erection that won’t go away even after orgasm/ejaculation should seek medical treatment or head to the emergency right away. Let go of the embarrassment, because if left untreated, priapism can lead to permanent damage.

A persistent, long-lasting erection can result from the man taking or injecting himself with medication because he suffers from impotency, or from some disease that thickens the blood, making it impossible for blood to leave the penis after it has entered. Sickle cell anemia is one such disease. Other medications can also cause priapism — for example: antidepressants, anticoagulants, and antipsychotics.

Priapism is not only painful, it is potentially harmful and the man usually ends up in the emergency room. Doctors can now treat priapism without surgery, but the condition still requires medical care.

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The Essentials of Men’s Sexual Health

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