As a subject of witty discourse among male acquaintances, the notion of a permanent hard member seems like a problem a man could certainly learn to live with. But all jokes aside, lasting tumescence is not normal, and it can have serious health consequences for any man who experiences a stiffy that stays in places for more than several hours. This condition, known as priapism, is not a sign of a healthy manhood, but rather of a serious medical condition in which blood has become trapped in the manhood and cannot be released. When this occurs, the male organ tissue becomes starved of oxygen and other vital nutrients, which could mean permanent damage if it is not treated right away.
Priapism can be caused by a number of issues, ranging from substance abuse to prescription medications to disease – malaria, for instance, has been linked to ongoing firmness. Injury to the pelvic area can also damage the blood vessels and prevent proper circulation to and from the area, and some male aids have also been known to cause problems in this respect. Some of the potential complications of priapism include:
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1. Loss of sensation – Without oxygen, the nerve cells of the manhood can quickly become damaged or die off altogether. While nerve tissue can be restored over time (under the right circumstances), men who suffer from priapism may experience a moderate to severe loss of sensation that affects their ability to enjoy intimate contact. The longer the male organ tissues go without oxygen, the greater the risk for long-term sensation loss.
2. Loss of function – Damage to the male organ tissue can also lead to loss of reproductive function, or inability to achieve and maintain tumescence long enough to complete the act of coupling.
3. Disfigurement – Permanent disfigurement may also be a consequence of priapism, as the damaged tissue can no longer stretch and expand during tumescence. Men may also find that their manhood is significantly shorter after an incident of priapism.
With these risks, it goes without saying that immediate medical attention is necessary. Priapism should be treated as a medical emergency, because the longer a man waits to take care of the problem, the more likely that lasting damage will take hold.
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Treating priapism is fairly straightforward. In many cases, an emergency room doctor will be able to drain the trapped blood from the manhood using a syringe; repair to damaged circulatory tissue may also be necessary. In some cases, surgery may be required to address the problem and prevent further damage. Generally, men are able to be treated and released, with no hospital stay required.
Following treatment, men who experience any unusual symptoms such as swelling, intense pain, soreness, fever, or other abnormal issues should talk to their health care provider as soon as possible for further treatment.