What is Penis Enlargement?
Priapism refers to the abnormal enlargement of the penis in the absence of sexual desire. The term comes from the name Priapus, the Greek and Roman god of procreation, fertility, lechery and promiscuousness. He was depicted as a hairy man with a huge penis.
Priapism or penis enlargement is an uncontrolled erection that lasts for longer than four hours even though there is no sexual stimulation at the time. It can occur even in newborns but usually affects men between the ages of 5 to 10 years and 20 to 50 years. The condition develops when blood in the penis gets trapped and is unable to drain.
Symptoms of Penis Enlargement
“True” Priapism is prolonged or persistent penis enlargement and lasts for about four to six hours. The penis becomes extremely erect, is spontaneous and usually occurs while the patient is sleeping. The person experiences painful sensations at the base of the shaft and in the perineum area (area between the scrotum and anus).
In some cases, penis enlargement occurs as a series of short-term painful erections during sleep. This is called “Stuttering Priapism”. At first, they may occur just once a week or so, but if not treated, the incidents increase in severity and may occur a few times during the course of a single night. Unlike persistent Priapism, the short-term erections subside with awakening followed by any activity like urination, bowel movement or walking.
As it happens in the absence of sexual arousal, having sex at the time usually does not help. In fact, because it does not result in ejaculation, the erection does not subside nor does the pain stop. But urination is not obstructed as the blood accumulates only in the cavernous tissue of the penis, and the urethra and the head are not affected.
Diagnosis of Penis Enlargement
The diagnosis of Priapism or penis enlargement is not that difficult. A sexologist will review the patient’s medical history and perform a thorough physical examination to diagnose the cause of Priapism. A check is carried out for possible cancerous growths in the abdomen and the rectum. The patient also needs to answer the following questions very honestly to cure the symptoms:
1) The length of time of the condition from initial onset,
2) How long the penis enlargement lasts each time,
3) Whether you use marijuana or cocaine,
4) Medication you are taking for other existing diseases,
5) Whether you have suffered any trauma to that part of the body.
Blood test: The doctor will then take a blood sample from the penis for blood-gas measurement. For this, a small needle is placed in the penis; some of the blood is drawn and sent to a lab for analysis. This provides a clue as to how long the condition has been present and how much damage has occurred to the organ itself.
Note: Priapism might be caused by some other internal disease, so after the sexologist suggests treatment, it is advisable to undergo a complete medical check-up.
Causes of Penis Enlargement
The immediate cause of Priapism is the disruption of drainage of blood from the sponge-like tissue of the penis shaft causing the blood to accumulate and become toxic. This blood flow anomaly can happen due to various reasons:
Sickle cell anemia: Penis enlargement can occur in persons with sickle cell anemia. Approximately 42% of all adults with sickle-cell anemia are known to eventually develop Priapism.
Drug abuse: Intake of marijuana or cocaine can cause penis enlargement disorder.
Side effects of medications: Another common cause of Priapism is the misuse of medications like antidepressants. Also patients being treated for erectile dysfunction may also end up with a problem of penis enlargement.
Leukemia/Malaria: Sometimes cancer or malaria can result in penis enlargement disorder as the cancer may prevent the outflow of blood.
Spider bites: Black-widow spider bites can cause Priapism.
Trauma: Any physical trauma to the spinal cord or the genital area can also be a cause of penis enlargement disorder.
Poisoning: Priapism can also be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Types of Penis Enlargement
There are two categories of Priapism:
Ischemic Priapism: In the case of Ischemic Priapism or low flow type of Priapism, the blood is trapped in the erection chambers and it is extremely painful. It often occurs without any particular cause in men who are healthy in other ways. But men suffering from other physical or mental ailments are afflicted more easily by this disease.
Not Ischemic Priapism: This type of Priapism is rarer and usually less painful. It occurs as a result of trauma like a ruptured artery from an injury to the penis or the perineum, thus constricting the normal blood flow in the penis.
Treatment of Penis Enlargement
A man experiencing Priapism should not attempt self-medication because proper professional treatment of penis enlargement focuses on not only making the erection subside but also preserving future erectile functions. The various treatment options are:
1) Decongestants: If the disorder is diagnosed early, the erection can almost always be reduced with medication like decongestants (pseudoephedrine), which help to decrease blood flow to the penis.
2) Ice packs: Ice applied to the penis and perineum can help to reduce swelling.
3) Surgical ligation: To ligate means to tie up. This method is used in Priapism which is caused by trauma like arterial rupture and is not ischemic. The doctor will ligate the artery to restore normal blood flow.
4) Alpha-adrenergic agonist therapy: After numbing the penis with local anesthesia, doctors will insert a needle and the excess blood is drained out. This is a method of penile aspiration. Vasoconstrictive drugs that constrict the blood vessels are injected into the penis. These drugs cause the veins to narrow and reduce blood flow to the penis. This method is usually used for the treatment of Ischemic Priapism.
5) Androgenic suppressive therapy: By using the Androgen Deprivation Therapy or Androgen Suppression Therapy levels of male androgens like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are reduced. Androgens, which are produced in the testicles, stimulate growth of cancer cells. Controlling androgen levels does not cure prostate cancer but it helps prevent penis enlargement caused by cancer.
6) Surgical shunt: If all other methods fail, surgery becomes necessary. This method is usually used to cure Ischemic Priapism. A shunt or passageway is surgically inserted into the penis. This diverts the blood flow and allows normal circulation of blood in the shaft.
7) Herbal medicine: Ginkgo biloba is an herbal remedy that has been utilized for thousands of years in China to treat ailments like asthma, inflammation, dizziness, memory problems as well as circulatory problems in the brain and rest of the body. Ginkgo biloba is an antioxidant and neuroprotective medication. It is used worldwide as a complementary method of treatment for penis enlargement.
General side effect: Immediately after treatment, if it is successful, there is a probability of temporary erectile dysfunction. This temporary impotency will gradually disappear and the sexual activities will return to normal after a while.
Drug-specific side effect: Vasoconstrictive drugs may end up in arteries providing blood to other organs in the body and cause a sudden drop in arterial pressure. The patient may experience dizziness or may faint. Hence is it very important that the treatment is administered under hospital supervision to constantly monitor arterial blood pressure.
Living with Penis Enlargement
As long as penis enlargement is treated promptly, the outlook of most people is very good. But plenty of men delay seeking medical help out of shame, to the point where the damage might be irreversible.
Impotency: One of the most horrifying outcomes of neglect is permanent impotency. Also, untreated Priapism may result in fibrosis of the erectile tissue, where the healthy tissue of the penis shaft gets replaced by scar tissue and causes disfigurement of the penis.
Psycho sociological impact: Besides having to deal with the discomfort and pain as well as the treatment of penis enlargement, embarrassment would manifest. Although the symptoms may not be visible in the day time, the patient would still be constantly conscious of the fact that he suffers from the disorder. The person would lose self-esteem and confidence. This will eventually adversely affect his personal, social and professional relationships as well.
Prevention of Penis Enlargement
Prevention of penis enlargement or Priapism has to be undertaken by preventing the disease that causes it. But some common methods are:
1) Avoiding triggers like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc.
2) Injections of phenylephrine to stop prolonged erections
3) Hormone treatment for adult men (not children)
4) Changing medication if Priapism is a side effect of some other medication
5) Using muscle relaxants like baclofen.
The American Urological Association has brought out some clinical algorithms as guidelines for the identification, treatment and prevention of Priapism or penis enlargement.