COVID: Erections of more than four hours, possible symptom of the coronavirus

Most people who get coronavirus COVID-19 present symptoms such as loss of sense of smell and taste, cough and fever or others, more related to the omicron variant. However, for others, the physical manifestations and the consequences after overcoming the episode of the disease continue to cause discomfort in the body that makes it difficult to lead a normal life.

Even after just over two years of the pandemic, there are many studies that discover new physical manifestations of the spread of COVID-19 and the results are more and more surprising.

An investigation published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2021 revealed that several coronavirus patients suffered from ischemic priapism, that is, a prolonged erection of the penis that can last more than four hours, that is not related to sexual stimulation, and that is usually painful.

The study pointed out that the severity of the COVID-19 condition could affect the reproductive system of men.

The investigation reports a particular case, a 69-year-old American man with a history of obesity who presented a week of cough, congestion, dyspnea, anorexia and generalized weakness. Following his symptoms, he was admitted to a hospital and intubated.

Despite treatment with dexamethasone for ten days and supplemental oxygen supply, the man’s health conditions worsened and mechanical ventilation was started while he remained sedated.

What are the so far known symptoms of omicron?

After a few hours, the attending nurse noticed an erection and although ice packs were placed on him, the erection of his penis persisted for the next three hours “with stiffness of the corpora cavernosa and flaccid glans”. Urology specialists were consulted, the report notes, and the blood was drained. After medical arrangements, the man experienced no further “thromboembolic” complications and priapism did not recur.

And although the investigation reported such a case, it also clarified that There was not enough scientific evidence to link COVID-19 with cases of ischemic priapism and further research is needed in this regard.

What is priapism and what are its symptoms?

According to the Mayo Clinic, priapism it is a prolonged and persistent erection of the penis and is not caused by sexual stimulation, so it is usually painful.

El priapism most commonly affects men age 30 and older.

The symptoms of priapism depend on one of the two types that exist:

Ischemic priapism occurs when blood becomes trapped in the penis. It is the most common type of priapism. Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  • Erection that lasts more than four hours or is not related to sexual stimulation
  • Body of the penis is rigid, but the tip of the penis (glans) is soft
  • Progressive pain in the penis

When blood flow to the penis is not properly regulated, it is called non-ischemic priapism. which, in general, is usually less painful than ischemic priapism. Signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Erection that lasts more than four hours or is not related to sexual interest or stimulation
  • Body of the penis erect but not completely rigid



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