Men's Health

Why is it harmful to have an erection for a lot more than four hours?



Generally, an erection is blood gathering in the sponge like tissue in the penis, creating it rigid. Drugs like Viagra dilate blood vessels at an artificially higher level so the penis can hold a lot more blood. Post sex, if the blood is trapped and cannot drain out, it causes what’s named priapism.

That is harmful since, when an erection is prolonged, the penis may possibly not get adequate new oxygen, and that can lead to injury even soon after just two hours, and vital tissue harm can begin soon after four.

That stated, the incidence of priapism in young males taking Viagra and the like is quite low. We see it a lot a lot more in males who attempt a lot more potent erection boosters, like injecting medication straight into their penis, which can lead to impotence. But guys who take antidepressants or anxiousness meds or have particular genetic circumstances (like sickle cell anemia) may possibly be at greater danger.

If you nonetheless have a difficult-on one particular to two hours soon after sex, do not panic — it may possibly naturally dissipate. If not, place an ice pack on it for 10 to 15 minutes, and if it does not go down, go to the ER, exactly where medical doctors will attempt to drain it with a needle/ syringe, meds, or even surgery.

Priapism is uncommon, but one particular stupid error, and you can lose your penis.

Benjamin Choi, M.D., is a clinical assistant professor in urology at Weill Health-related Center of Cornell University, and an attending urologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Health-related Center.


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