On an average man-targeted website, there's at least one pop-up promoting the notion of "all night" erections, leading many men to believe that an everlasting boner is something to strive for. In reality, the penis is simply not designed to stay firm for hours. In fact, men with erections that simply won't go away and are accompanied by penis pain may have an emergency medical condition known as priapism; this condition can cause permanent damage and requires immediate attention to penis care.
A penis is a bit like a balloon, designed to fill up for use and then empty out when the moment has passed. Unlike a balloon, which is typically filled with air, a penis is filled up with blood, and anytime that flow of blood is disrupted, the erection can malfunction. In most cases, priapism occurs when blood can't leave the penis. Some men, however, experience difficulty when too much blood goes into the penis.
Some diseases cause abnormalities in blood vessels or in the blood itself. Sickle cell anemia and leukemia, for example, can cause these kinds of changes; these diseases have both been associated with priapism. There are times, however, when substances a man puts into his body change his blood flow, and these substances can also cause episodes of unwanted, persistent erections. Common culprits include:
- Blood thinners
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Some illicit drugs
A traumatic blow to the penis or the area around the penis can also cause priapism. When the injury is severe enough to sever an artery or a vein, the blood's movement is hindered, and the blood can rush where it doesn't belong or get trapped in the tissues of the penis with no way out.
Priapism is considered a medical emergency, and as a result, men who have erections lasting more than 4 hours are often encouraged to head right to the emergency room in order to get help. It can be an embarrassing visit for men, as they may not wish to discuss their erection problems in front of medical professionals they've never met before, and if the penis has been damaged due to a sex-related injury, men may be especially reluctant to talk about the problem. However, avoiding treatment can result in permanent damage to the penile tissue and even lead to loss of function. Men should keep in mind that medical professionals are there to help, and they have been trained to deal with exactly such problems. Rather than judging their patients, they're likely to want to stick to the facts of the case and develop a treatment plan, so the patient can get better and the doctor can move on to the next person who needs help.
In some cases, priapism can be treated with either oral or injectable medications. These drugs can cause the blood vessels to constrict or expand so that the trapped blood can once again move freely. If medications don't work, shunting surgery can provide a rapid solution, and healing times for this procedure are generally short.
Avoiding the Problem
The penis is capable of doing some amazing things, but it’s also remarkably fragile, and a small slip could lead to big consequences. Handling the package with care is vital, especially during sex, so the delicate tissues aren't squashed, torn or broken in the process. Using a penis health formula (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) may also be helpful for avoiding potential problems before they occur. Targeted penis ingredients such as L-arginine, for example, can benefit penile blood vessels and result in an increase in blood flow. This substance may not be able to prevent priapism altogether, but keeping tissues healthy could be a reasonable step men can take to keep their penile tissues functioning as they should.
For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.