Pleasure with frustration: causes of a permanent erection

By Dr. Dorothea Flogger
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Pleasure with frustration: causes of a permanent erection
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Hard as steel – What to do if you have a permanent erection?

Many men struggle with erection problems. Most of the time, her best piece doesn’t get stiff enough for sex or doesn’t last long. Some people might wish they had a permanent erection. Better not, because this is a medical emergency.

Lust mit Frust: Ursachen einer DauererektionWhat is a permanent erection?

The phenomenon is called priapism in medicine. It is a spontaneously occurring erection. If the erection does not return within 2 hours, it is called a permanent erection. The scientific name priapism is derived from Priapos, the ancient Greek god of fertility, who was always depicted with an oversized, stiff member.

Permanent erection is not a pleasurable state, but very painful. In contrast to a normal erection, the two erectile tissues on the right and left side of the penis shaft are filled with blood, but the glans is only supplied with blood normally.

Why is this dangerous?

Because it is a congestion of blood. The blood flows into the corpora cavernosa and remains there. This builds up pressure, which damages the blood vessels. If nothing is done about the permanent erection, the result is permanent erectile dysfunction, in other words impotence.

The blood stasis must be removed within 24 hours at the latest. That is why it is recommended to visit the emergency room of the nearest major hospital in case of continuous erection. There are specialists there who can take care of the problem.

How does a permanent erection manifest itself?

The penis turns bluish purple and is curved upward. The two corpora cavernosa are stiff, but the glans is flaccid. The longer the erection lasts, the more the pain increases. There are two types of continuous erections: Low Flow and High Flow. In the Low Flow type, stiffening occurs because venous blood outflow is impeded.

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Most cases (90 percent) of permanent erection belong to this type. It is more dangerous than the high-flow type, in which too much arterial blood is supplied so that it cannot drain quickly enough.

What are the causes?

There is a wide range of causes. They range from inflammation, blood disorders, thrombosis, diabetes but also side effects of medications. An overdose with potency medications with PDE-5 inhibitors (active ingredients sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil) can also cause a permanent erection.

Alcohol and drug abuse, and even hours of cycling with tight pants, are also suspected of being able to trigger a permanent erection. In more than 50 percent of all cases, doctors cannot find a specific cause.

How is a permanent erection treated?

If the patient does nothing, the erection will eventually subside on its own. By then, however, it is long too late, because the corpora cavernosa are incurably damaged. Things can get even worse and the lack of blood flow can cause muscle tissue to die. Therefore, affected persons should go to the emergency room as soon as possible! The sooner therapy begins, the greater the chances of recovery.

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Physical exercise is at least one means of alleviating the effects of continuous erection because it stimulates blood flow. In the hospital, the doctor injects medication into the erectile tissue to relieve the congestion. Since the treatment causes severe pain, it is always performed only in combination with pain therapy. If drug therapy shows no effect, surgery is performed if necessary.

If professional therapy is given within 12 hours of onset, permanent erection can be cured in 90 percent of all cases without the need to fear permanent damage or late effects.

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