Physical Problems in Males


Priapos was the ancient Greek god of fertility. His statue, always showing a huge erect penis, was placed in the fields in the hope of ensuring a good harvest.

The term priapism refers to a persistent, usually painful erection of the penis in the absence of sexual excitement.
We speak of priapism if the bothersome erection lasts longer than 2 hours. The condition can occur in males of all ages, including newborns and small children. In these cases it is an indication of some injury or serious disease such as leukemia or sickle-cell anemia. However, most afflicted males are between twenty and fifty years old. Again, the cause may be sickle-cell anemia or some injury. Another cause may be the injection of drugs into the penis or even oral medication for the treatment of erection problems. There are some other possible causes such as a fistula, the occlusion of a vein or other internal obstructions. It is typical of priapism that, while the shaft of the penis is tumescent and hard, the glans is not, but remains soft. There are also cases of unwelcome, but persistent weak erections (so-called semi-erections) lasting several days. These, although not painful, also require treatment. (Priapism in females, i.e. a painfully engorged clitoris, is extremely rare.)

Priapism is a medical emergency. Without timely intervention (if possible by a urologist, and within the first six hours), the penis may be permanently damaged. A careful examination is necessary to determine the cause, and prompt treatment must follow. If the treatment starts early enough, some medication may solve the problem. If the condition persists, the draining of blood though an inserted needle and/or surgery may be required.

[Course 3] [Description] [How to use it] [Introduction] [Problems in Females] [Problems in Males] [Phimosis] [Gynecomastia] [Hypospadia] [Peyronie's Disease] [Priapism] [Varicocele] [Hydrocele] [Spermatocele] [Testicular Torsion] [Undescended Testes] [Self-examination] [Intersexuality] [Additional Reading] [Examination]