Symptoms and causes

What is it?

Priapism is an erection that lasts for a long time without any sexual stimulation. When an erection does not spontaneously disappear four hours after it has started, this is referred to as ‘priapism’. This situation becomes quite painful. Priapism sometimes occurs spontaneously, without a clear cause. However, priapism is usually the result of injected drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. In rare cases, priapism is caused by taking certain medications, mainly antidepressants.

Diagnosis and treatment

Treatment should be deployed urgently to prevent damage to the corpora cavernosa. Treatment consists of puncturing and flushing the corpora cavernosa in the penis. If this does not help, noradrenaline can be injected into the corpora cavernosa.

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021