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Urology/Superficial vein thrombosis



I've asked other questions before on here.  About 5 months ago after a heavy night of sexual activity / masturbation I developed what two urologists say is superficial vein thrombosis. This happened a month after hitting my pubic bone going slowly on a friends motorbike but it wasn't serious as I was able to get a full erection within the hour and there was no bruising or swelling afterwards. And two urologists think the thrombosis isn't related because it occurred a month after this.   Since then my erections have been ok and I've still gotten night time / morning erections . Both urologists said that superficial vein thrombosis had virtually no role in erectile function.  I'm just wondering how were they able to tell it was superficial vein thrombosis and not deep dorsal vein thrombosis just by looking at it ? And also two doctors have said it can take 6 months to a year or more for it to it to resolve and even then might not . What's your opinion . They said to take baby aspirin , is there any way to help it dissolve faster ? There hasn't been any pain with it ?

Ron, the superficial vein of the penis is visible on the top of the penis as you look down on it.  It appears as a blue linear structure beneath the skin in both the flaccid and erect states.  It may be in the midline of just off to the side of this.  The deep dorsal vein of the penis lies just beneath this.  It it separated from the superficial vein by connective tissue called Buck's fascia.  This vein is not well seen in the flaccid state but can often be seen bulging somewhat with erection.  Because it is covered by Buck's fascia, it does not appear blue.  

I agree with your urologists that neither of these veins is involved in the erectile process.  In my experience, however, thrombosis of the veins generally resolves in a matter of weeks, not months.  Although thrombosis of these veins can occur from "a heavy night of sexual activity", much more common is thrombosis (clot) of a penile lymphatic vessel.   This is also called sclerosing lymphangitis.  Lymphatics are tissue vessels that are present all over the body connecting lymph nodes.  It is a distinctly separate system from blood vessels (arteries and veins).  Rather than blood, they carry an opaque fluid called lymph.   Their function is to keep the tissues healthy by filtering out harmful substances (such as bacteria, viruses, tumor cells, etc.) and enhancing immunity.  Sometimes during sexual activity, the lymphatics get bruised resulting in subsequent clot formation.   One notices a firm, often finely beaded vessel under the skin of the penis that is mildly tender.  This is not a dangerous condition and the clot resolves on its own in a few weeks unless there is recurrent trauma to the area.  Therefore, sexual activity should be curtailed until healing has occurred. When you resume sex, use a good lubricant and try to avoid excessive trauma to the penis.   

In neither of these cases is the problem serious and both resolve on their own without treatment.  I do not think you need aspirin.  Good luck.


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Arthur Goldstein, M.D.


Problems or questions related to the field of urology; ie urinary stone disease, urinary cancers (kidney, bladder, prostate, testis, etc.), urinary infections, etc. I no longer answer questions related to erection problems or male sexual dysfunction.


I am retired from the active practice of urology. My 34 years was totally in the clinical field and involved the entire gamut of genitourinary problems, with special interest in endourology.

American Medical Association, American Urological Association, American College of Surgeons

College degree - BS Medical degree - MD Master of Science - MS

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