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What if I have an erection that won't go down?

Posted by Be Well

What if I have an erection that won?t go down?
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The medical name for an erection that won't go down is a priapism. Rather than being a good thing, it can be a nuisance, as it is more likely to happen when you don't have any sexual desire. It can also damage the tissues in the penis, and is usually extremely painful.

It occurs because the blood in the penis that makes it erect cannot escape. It happens because of prolonged sexual desire or as a side effect to some types of medication. Sometimes it can be because medication for impotence has worked too well. Rarely, it is because of an underlying condition such as sickle-cell anemia or a prostate problem.

If an erection lasts for three or four hours or more, it is likely to be a priapism and you should get urgent medical attention.

If a priapism has lasted under 4-6 hours, it can usually be treated with decongestant medicines by a doctor.

However, if you have had an erection for longer than six hours, a doctor will usually need to release blood from the penis using a needle and syringe. The doctor will also try to find out the cause of your priapism and treat you for this if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be required to avoid causing permanent damage to the penis.

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NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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