You are here:

Urology/Nocturnal erections?


Hey doc,

  Can nocturnal erection be so hard that it can damage penis somehow (priapism night), or would I wake up to this?
  Can sleeping with tight jeans or underwear on, somehow damage penis if e.g nocturnal erection occurs and penis is twisted or in a bad position because of the pants etc.


While almost anything in medicine is possible, there has not been a recorded episode of a nocturnal erection causing a problem.  However, it is possible to develop priapism and fall asleep which can be an issue.  However, priapism is a full, 100% hard erection and becomes quite painful which is not likely to allow the patient to sleep.  This would not be an unusual nocturnal erection but a true pathological condition.

Priapism is not caused by a bad position of the penis.  It is caused by abnormal penile circulation either by medication or other causes.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.