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Urology/Manually induced long-term erections


Hi Doctor,

I was reading about the consequences of the now-well known four-hour erection effect that ED drugs can have. Scary stuff. My question is, do the dangers of ED drug-caused priapism also apply to the act of purposely having an erection for a period longer than four hours, in other words, stimulating the penis for a long time and delaying ejaculation without the use of drugs? This means potentially having a four-hour erection, but one that would go away normally if stimulation were to stop. If not, then are there any other dangers to doing this?

Thank you for your information,


Under normal circumstances, it is not possible to maintain a full erection for 4 hours.  About 30 minutes is the maximum and then it will diminish as the tissues need the reduction.  Only in abnormal situations does the full, 100% rigid erection last 4 hours or longer.

The dangers of markedly prolonged and continuous erections are decreased blood flow and oxygen loss to the tissues resulting in scarring and loss of erection function.  WHile this can happen from Viagra and similar meds, it's quite uncommon if the meds are used correctly.

You can look this up on the Internet under the name "Priapism".  


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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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