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What is the reason for experiencing frequent strong unwanted nighttime erections?

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Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 1415 Questions
Hi doctor, I am experiencing frequent strong unwanted nighttime erections. I don't know if it is due to not having sex for a long time, I suspect it is more likely related to stress and a herniated disc in my back. Masturbating doesn't help. Every night I am up several times to let the erection subside. Last night I was up at 3.30am, then again at 6am, then I woke up again at 6:45am, but was too tired to get up and correct it, so I must have slept with the erection until 7:30am. Today I have felt a bit sore in my penis throughout the day, (the head of the penis) and I worry if I have caused any damage? How long before such erection causes damage? It usually takes a few minutes after the erection has subsided until the penis shrinks back into a normal flaccid size. If I go back to sleep again before that, does it mean the blood in the penis is damaging too, even if the erection has subsided, assuming the erection starts right away after falling asleep again? I worry about any damage/impotence developing, even there are no signs of that yet.
Posted Sun, 15 Dec 2013 in Penis Problems
Answered by Dr. G.Srinivasan 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Priapism needs to be ruled out. Detailed Answer: Welcome to the forum. Persistent painful erection called Priapism needs to be evaluated by a urologist. But any erection that lasts more than 6 hours CONTINUOUSLY associated with pain can cause ischemic damage to the erectile bodies of the penis. So, answering your question directly, even if the erection started immediately after falling asleep, if it is to be called priapism, you would have woken up due to pain as it will be a severe one. So i would suggest the following--- 1. If the erection, on any given day lasts more than 4 hours associated with pain, not subsiding with the usual measures you do, needs to be attended as an emergency. 2. In the absence of the above situation, you may fix a elective appointment with your UROLOGIST. Hope the above explains most of your doubts, Truly
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Follow-up: What is the reason for experiencing frequent strong unwanted nighttime erections? 5 hours later
Thanks for your answer. I forgot to mention that I did see a urologist about this a while ago. He said nothing to worry about, and if I start having sex again regularly, then this will go away. My erections are not painful, thankfully. And I don't have any daytime erection problems. So does it mean only painful erections will cause damage? And if I have prolonged erections during my sleep, would I definitely wake up from the pain before any irreversible damage occured to my penis? I had numerous erections again last night, but stood up every time and took care of it that way. Still feel a rather stinging (minor) pain now. Should I worry about this minor pain I am feeling now, coming from somewhere near the urethra near the head of the penis, or give it a few days to get better by itself? It is not a sign of penile damage? I would like to add that I don't sleep that well anyway, because of my back problem, so I don't think it is the erections that wake me up. My urologist told me damage can occur after 2 hours of erection, which got me worried.
Answered by Dr. G.Srinivasan 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Not to worry--- Detailed Answer: welcome to the forum. Only painful erections are likely to cause damage. Yes, You will wake up from sleep as the pain is due to unhealthy blood accumulation in the organ and it wont let you sleep in peace. Minor pain, as you mentioned is not to be worried. Please, give some more time for things to settle and it is not a sign of penile damage. I would advice you to take mild sedative to enable you sleep better. Hope this helps, Truly,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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