Priapism can either be categorized as ischemic, non-ischemic or stuttering. The latter is a rare condition of prolonged erection that keeps on reoccurring over a long period of time. Priapism can even occur when there is no sexual stimulation causing arousal. It is most common in patients with sickle cell disease, however, many factors can lead to priapism. A major population of the male gender may wish for a long-lasting erection. But, when it lasts for more than four hours and it causes immense pain, it is undesirable. To make matters worse, it is dangerous and can damage the erectile function for good. Priapism can occur in any male, of any age, including young boys.
What Is Stuttering Priapism?
Stuttering priapism is also referred to as recurrent priapism due to its recurrent nature of priapism episodes. Over time, the episodes may increase in terms of frequency and how long they last. There are no profound symptoms of the disorder other than painful erections that last for hours and keep on reoccurring. Treating stuttering priapism is important so as to savor the erectile function of the penis and its surrounding tissues. On top of that, treatment helps relieve pain and help the penis regain its usual flaccid form. When treatment is administered, you should follow the dosage as prescribed for full benefits. Stuttering priapism should be dealt with until penile detumescence is achieved.
Causes of Stuttering Priapism
Men with sickle-cell disease or with idiopathic conditions are usually at a higher risk of developing stuttering priapism. Regardless, there are many underlying factors which can cause priapism. The actual pathogenesis of the disorder is unknown since there’s little information about the condition. The known causes of stuttering priapism include;
Blood-related disorders such as sickle-cell anemia, leukemia, and hematological dyscrasias e.g. multiple myeloma.
- Drug-induced priapism caused by medications such as antidepressants, anti-blockers, blood thinners, antipsychotics, and medication to treat erectile dysfunction.
- Alcohol, cocaine and other illicit drugs.
- Direct injury to the penis, pelvis or perineum – the area between the scrotum and the anus.
- History of malignant tumors, especially those involving the penis.
- Neurological disorders e.g. syphilis or spinal cord injury.
Symptoms of Stuttering Priapism
The imminent repercussion of priapism is pain and prolonged erection that lasts for more than four hours. For stuttering priapism, in the beginning, symptoms are similar to ischemic priapism. However, they may include sensory deficits, neurological claudication, and any other neurological sequela. Other than that, you’ll also experience;
- Rigid penile shaft whereas the tip of the penis (glans) is soft.
- Short-lived painful erections that occur severally.
- Involuntary erections.
Treating Stuttering Priapism
Having any sort of erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing to some extent, but that should be no reason to hold you back on getting treated. Priapism needs to be treated immediately to avoid any permanent damage to the penile tissue and permanent erectile dysfunction. Your doctor would want to know any important information regarding your priapism for the proper treatment. You need to have a record of how long you have had the erection, is it recurrent or not, any trauma you have experienced around your private area to mention a few. The doctor will also want to know of any risk factors you might have been exposed to that may lead to priapism in general.
Priapism can be treated using different methods from oral medication to injections and even surgery. Stuttering priapism can be managed by use of hormonal therapy which has been successful in suppressing the condition. Nevertheless, hormonal therapy should only be applied to adult male and not too young men who’ve not surpassed adolescents. To ease the swelling on the penis due to trapped blood, you can apply ice packs or have the blood drained by a doctor. In cases of high-flow priapism, the artery causing the problem can either blocked or tied to cease the prolonged erections. Alternatively, a shunt can be put in place to allow the blood to flow out. Shunts do not inhibit recurrent priapism from happening again, but that can be managed with Tadalafil, which also helps restore erectile function to the penis.