What is a prolonged erection?

What is a prolonged erection?What is a prolonged erection?

Prolonged erection is painful and can be dangerous. Author Tom Wells found out what it is and how to prevent it…

A prolonged erection is also known as priapism. This is where an erection continues for hours and isn’t caused by sexual arousal. It can be quite a painful situation and usually requires rapid medical attention. It is most prevalent in men over 30 and sickle cell sufferers. It can cause tissue damage and even erectile dysfunction if not treated correctly.

So let’s have a look at some of the symptoms and what you can do about it.

How do you know if you have prolonged erection?

If you notice that you have an erection that remains for more than two hours you should consider seeking medical attention as you may have prolonged erection priapism. 

What causes a prolonged erection?

There are actually two types of prolonged erection: 1) ischemic (low-flow) and 2) nonischemic (high-flow).

1) the low-flow prolonged erection is the most common and results when blood cannot leave the penis. Symptoms to look out for include: 

  • An erection that has lasted longer than four hours without sexual arousal/stimulation
  • Rigid penile shaft but the head of the penis remains soft
  • Progressive pain in the penis

2) the high-flow prolonged erection is less common and is caused when blood flow to the penis is not regulated properly. This type of prolonged erection is less painful but it can still be dangerous if not treated. Their symptoms are the same as above but the penile shaft will feel less rigid.

When do you need to see a doctor? 

Before you see a doctor here is a list of easy things you can try to try and reduce the erection:

  • try to go for a pee
  • have a warm bath or shower
  • drink lots of water
  • go for a gentle walk
  • try exercises, such as squats or running on the spot

If none of this works, you are in pain, and the erection persists for multiple hours, doctors recommend seeking emergency help

Here are some things to avoid if you are experiencing prolonged erection symptoms:

  • do not apply ice packs or cold water to your penis – this can make things worse
  • do not masturbate or have sex – it won’t make your erection go away
  • avoid alcohol and smoking

How is prolonged erection treated?

Depending on the type of prolonged erection, excess blood is usually drained from the penis. Sometimes a small surgery is necessary. If treated quickly, there are not usually any lasting side effects.

Is prolonged erection connected to sex drive?

Prolonged erection is a medical condition and not connected to sex drive. Sexual stimulation does not cause a prolonged erection. Although prolonged erection is a sign that you may need to treat this condition to lead a normal and health sex life. Activities like sport, fitness training and yoga can all help the blood circulation in the penile area and improve this condition.

What is a healthy erection?

A healthy erection is caused by sexual stimulation and remains erect during sex or masturbation. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to maintain an erection during sexual stimulation. Erection quality is influenced by lifestyle factors such as diet, body type, level of fitness and many other factors.

prolonged erection

How is erection quality related to sex?

The age-old question “does size matter”. But penis size is not the most important factor when it comes to sexual pleasure. Actually, erection quality is more important than penis size. The range of average erect penis sizes is actually quite narrow, and studies have found that conditions like erectile dysfunction play a much bigger role in sexual pleasure. 

How can you improve erection quality? 

There are many ways to improve your erection quality – and to avoid a prolonged erection on the other hand. One of the most important things is to try and lead a healthy life. Poor diet and lack of exercise worsen blood circulation to the penis. So try and build in regular exercise. Yoga is great for this because if gives the core an excellent workout but the wide range of movement promotes better circulation ̣—  ideal for improving erection quality

Wearable sex toys can improve erection quality

Erection quality is closely related to blood flow and circulation. If there is not enough blood flow or circulation is poor, then your erection will not remain hard. But there are sex toys that can directly improve your erection quality. Wearable rings sit at the base of the penis and through targeted vibrations, cause your penis to remain stimulated. This can lead to a stronger and longer-lasting erection.  Some wearables such as the Pivot and the Verge by WeVibe can stimulate the clit at the same time, meaning couples can enjoy them together.

We-Vibe Verge

We-vibe verge

Prolonged erection: Is sex drive related to erection quality?

There can be many reasons why you may not feel in the mood for sex or masturbation including work stress, anxiety or even mild depression. So if you are finding it difficult to feel aroused, this may also lead to lower-quality erections. But don’t worry —  there are many quick libido-enhancing solutions to increase your level of arousal – check this guide for some great tips.

Build a healthy lifestyle for improved erection quality

To improve your erection quality, one of the best ways is to try and build a holistic and healthy lifestyle. Watching your diet and doing regular exercise can really help. Activities with wide ranges of motion such as yoga are particularly good at improving blood flow. 

Let’s talk about prolonged erection – via Social Media or via Mail. Let us know if you have any tips for increasing erection quality.

We recommend

Show more

Did you like this post?4.5
Leave your rating


Tom has written about pretty much everything from robots taking over the world to prisons in Bolivia. Now, he is turning his attention to the wonderful world of sex in all its guises. Through his writing, he aims to create an open-minded dialogue on topics such as sex positivity, sexual identity, and the ever-changing notion of masculinity.