Priapism is a disease that affects exclusively the male gender, as it consists in the prolongation of the penis erection accompanied by intense pain. This occurs regardless of sexual desire and normally this erection does not last longer than four hours.
Not all cases of priapism are the same, in this sense, specialists in the male genital tract (urologists) distinguish two types:
1) veno-occlusive priapism: in this case, there is an obstruction of the venous drainage of the corpora cavernosa, that is, the erectile tissue of the penis. Therefore, the origin of the erection comes from the ingestion of vasoactive drugs used as a treatment against erectile erection, by the use of certain drugs used as psychiatric treatment or by the consumption of drugs such as cocaine and heroin ;
2) arterial priapism: this is less common and is caused by trauma to the penis; this causes an injury to the cavernous artery accompanied by blood in the corpora cavernosa.
Anyway, damage that occurs to the penis can become irreversible if the erection lasts longer than four hours, so it is advisable to consult a specialist immediately.
Diagnosis and treatment
In order to have an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to ask a series of questions related to medication consumption, pain intensity and the patient’s family history. Sometimes it may be convenient to draw blood from the penis to see what type of priapism is.
In order to avoid a possible erectile dysfunction, it is recommended to start the treatment as soon as possible, aspirating blood from the penis to return to its normal state or injecting some type of drug to act on the penile blood drainage. But if these treatments are not effective, there is the possibility of surgery to drain blood from the penis to another drainage system .
Many of the terms used in medicine come from Greek and Roman mythology.
This happens with the word priapism, which comes from Priapos, a goddess worshiped by the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as being the god of fertility and symbol of the sexual instinct .
For the Romans, Priapos was the illegitimate son of Zeus and Aphrodite and was punished for having his penis always erect, this because Hera (the real wife and sister of Zeus) was jealous and decided to punish Zeus through her son Priapos.
The representation of Priapos is that of a bearded man with a large limb. However, his image is quite ridiculous, because despite the size of his penis he is an impotent man.