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Doctors Think Man's 12-Hour-Long Painful Erections Are Caused By Marijuana

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Doctors Think Man's 12-Hour-Long Painful Erections Are Caused By Marijuana

A man who has been treated at hospital several times for erections that go on for ages - including one as long as 12 hours - could be suffering from this because to his frequent use of marijuana, according to scientists.

The man attended Coliseum Medical Centers in Macon, Georgia, after experiencing lengthy, painful erections that were going on for hours at a time, and not as a result of any sexual activity.

Incidentally, that's called priapism, in case you're wondering.

The team of doctors at the hospital said this is the 'first known case of cannabis-associated priapism in a patient where all other known causes of priapism have been excluded'.

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Doctors think the man's 12-hour long erections could be due to his cannabis use. Credit: PA
Doctors think the man's 12-hour long erections could be due to his cannabis use. Credit: PA

So, it's often caused as a side effect of prescription medicine, or cocaine use, but it's really dangerous and can cause the penis to be damaged permanently if something isn't done about it.

The 32-year-old African American man, who was otherwise healthy, was then admitted to the hospital after his complaints of painful erections.

According to the Journal of Cannabis Research, he'd had a non-sexual erection for 12 hours before he turned up to the emergency room the first time.

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The second time, it was six hours.

Each time, he was given a phenylephrine injection, which allowed his penis to return to normal.

The man, doctors said, smoked cannabis 'several nights per week for the past six months' and 'within the two hours period prior to each presenting episode of priapism'.

The patient reported this had happened at least four times over a period of six months. However, on some occasions, the erections passed on their own.

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He also mentioned he'd started smoking weed aged 16, but gave up during his twenties for a while. During his period of cessation, he had no priapism.

Doctors have ruled out just about everything else, meaning this is the first instance they've seen where weed is likely the aggravating factor.

Coliseum Medical Centers, where the unnamed man was treated. Credit: Google Maps
Coliseum Medical Centers, where the unnamed man was treated. Credit: Google Maps

The study said: "On physical exam, the patient was mildly hypertensive with an erect, swollen, and tender penis,

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"A repeat needle aspiration with (1000 mcg total) of phenylephrine was completed, again resulting in successful detumescence.

"A urine drug screen was consistent with cannabis use without other drug use.

"A complete blood count revealed no anaemia and a normal mean corpuscular volume.

"The patient was again referred to urology and internal medicine on an outpatient basis for further workup; however he was lost to follow-up in this period."

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Injections resulted in 'successful detumescence'. Credit: PA
Injections resulted in 'successful detumescence'. Credit: PA

It continued: "He had no medical history other than mild hypertension, he took no medications, and used only cannabis, supported by his urinary drug screen.

"Further, his history exhibited a convincing correlation between his cannabis use and his episodes of recurrent priapism."

As for why this is happening, they're not sure. It could be because the chemicals in marijuana could have affected his brain and stopped the signals that end erections, or it could be to do with dilation of blood vessels, which 'could potentiate the unrelenting erection notable in priapism'.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Science, Interesting, US News, Weird, Health

Tom Wood
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