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Ischemic Priapism: Causes, Signs, Treatment

Some cardiac pathologies have very characteristic, although not obvious, clinical manifestations, that can bring significant discomfort to our daily lives. This is especially true of men – the socio-psychological layer, which is most susceptible to the influence of various irreversible disorders associated with disorders of sexual function, which have mixed physiological and psychosomatic character.

It is precisely this category of ischemic priapism, a violation that got its name in connection with the ancient Greek myth about Priapa, fertility deity, possessing inexhaustible masculine power, whose penis was in a state of constant erection.


Modern medicine hasn`t fully investigated the causes of this disease. Among known factors contributing to the manifestation of ischemic priapism are the following:

  • Occurrence of inflammatory processes in penis tissues.
  • Wrong lifestyle, bad habits presence, such as addiction to alcohol and nicotine, as well as hard drugs usage.
  • Cardiovascular diseases, in particular, pathologies associated with structural disorders of the blood.
  • Pathologies of oncological origin.
  • Features of side effects of some medications, as well as their incorrect combination.
  • Lesions whose object is the spinal cord.
  • Venereal diseases.

Thus, the list of possible causes of such violation is quite wide and requires the most thorough diagnosis. It is important to remember, that only identification of the primary source of the lesion can help to eliminate painful symptoms. In no case can`t engage in self, which can lead to disastrous results.

Signs and manifestations

Symptomatology of disease is characterized by characteristic features, fundamental of which is the permanent appearance of erection, often associated with painful sensations. Also, defining properties of pathology are following points:

  • An erect penis isn`t associated with the manifestation of sexual arousal.
  • The cavity of the head at the onset of erection isn`t filled with blood, tissues remain soft.
  • The blood filling of cavernous bodies of the penis is fully present.
  • The level of blood pressure in the cavity of the male genital organ increases significantly, which leads to its bending to the abdominal area.
  • Prolonged arousal of the penis is accompanied by painful sensations.
  • Erection has a significant duration, doesn`t stop even after ejaculation.

Concomitant phenomena are very often blood stasis and tissue inflammation, which leads to the possible development of gangrene.

Pathology features

Ischemic priapism, as a rule, is characterized by a weak level of blood supply to the penis. This feature, in turn, is reflected in the dynamics and nature of the disease course.

It is worth remembering, those painful symptoms develop quite slowly, and in the early stages may not bring significant discomfort. The psychological characteristics of men are such, that they are more likely to ignore these, in their opinion, insignificant violations. But, one way or another, originating in the body, the disease will progress, especially if it is ignored.

Diagnosis and treatment

It is quite easy to diagnose the course of ischemic priapism, based on indicated symptoms. But, often treatment situation is complicated by the advanced stage of disease and its acute nature. Therefore, mapping therapeutic measures in the development of this pathology is a very individual process, depending on many factors.

Nevertheless, a method of conservative treatment is often used, consisting of:

  • Parenteral administration of non-narcotic analgesic drugs.
  • Measures to ensure parenteral detoxification in event of pathological arousal occurrence of the penis due to intoxication processes.

In case of sufficient prompt detection of symptoms, puncture of the cavernous body is recommended. Manipulation should be with a special needle (19 gauge). After this sampling, an analysis of blood composition is made and the final diagnosis is determined on its basis.

If a patient has applied for medical assistance at the sufficiently late phase of pathology development, a surgical solution will be the best solution. It should be noted, that this operation is very painful and requires a long recovery. Therefore, it would be more logical to seek professional help promptly, allowing to avoid cardinal events.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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