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Urology/priapism threat


Dear Doctor Stephen,
I have been diagnosed with a mild case of venous leakage. I can get simi erection while laying or sitting but it go immediate when i stand. my doctor gave me viagra 50mg which worked pretty good.
I can maintain erection in any position with good strenght.
Though i always face a problem when i try to sleep, usually when i take the viagra at night it keep kicking in longer than 4 hours, my penis stay not erected but long soft state before i go to bed.
last night i waked up with a strong erection that took about 15 minutes to go, i am very worried how long this erection laster actually, when i went to bed i was a little turned on and i slept for about 5 hours till i wake and felt this erection , i worry that i might went through priapism which can cause damage to my penis physically, now the base of my penis shaft hurts a little, i try to schedule a date with my doctor but wont be till the next week. now is there any checks i can do at home myself to ensure that my penis physically is fine ?
I do not want to try viagra anymore before i see my local doctor, i could get a hard on while laying but not as strong as it used to be, it may be due to nervous of the priapism.
Can you please let me know about any procedure i could check to ensure that this erection was not priapism or did not affect my penis physically ?
Thank you in advance


First, your reaction is more or less normal.  The fact that the penis remained something more than completely flaccid after using viagra is not unusual and does not constitute a priapism which by definition is a full and rigid erection.  This is not dangerous unless it persists 4 hours or longer.  

There is no check you can do yourself at home to determine the length of the erection while asleep.  This would require a nocturnal penile tumescence monitor and even this is probably not necessary.

If the penis still works more or less as before, then it is unlikely any damage was done.  A smaller dose of Viagra may be all that is needed.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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