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What is Priapism?
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Priapism

Causes of Priapism

The immediate cause of Priapism is the disruption of blood flow to the sponge-like cavernous tissue of the penis shaft. In some cases, there is a significant increase in the arterial blood flow to the penis shaft tissue (usually happens when a penis is physically injured) – that is known as the "high-flow" (non-ischemic) Priapism. In other cases, it is caused by a disruption of drainage of blood from the penis, which results in stagnation of blood inside the cavernous tissue – that is known as "low-flow", ischemic Priapism.

Organ Info:
The anatomy of the penis is actually quite complex. It might be an obvious statement, but the penis is not like the body's other appendages. It consists of sponge-like vascular tissue that fills with blood during an erection. The knobby head of the penis is known as the glans and is usually covered with foreskin in uncircumcised men, or not covered with foreskin – if you are circumcised. The urethra is a the canal in the middle of the penis that carries urine and ejaculate. The penis is supplied with blood via two small arteries and blood leaves the organ via a network of veins on and around it.

Below are a few conditions that create a risk of Priapism:

  • Neurological conditions: brain tumors, conditions that result from a cranial injury, multiple sclerosis.
  • Blood disorders: leucosis, sickle-cell disease.
  • Urological diseases: inflammations, tumors and injuries of the penis.
  • Intoxications: Cocaine use, excessive drinking, chronic renal impairment.

    Some medications, such as certain antidepressants and anti-impotence drugs may also cause Priapism. In the United States, the erectile dysfunction drugs are one of the most common causes of Priapism.

    ‹‹ What is Priapism? Symptoms of Priapism ››

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