Dear Dr G,
I am a 30-year-old-man who is just making an enquiry out of curiosity. Let me just get one fact straight, I have no problem to “rise to the occasion”, on most occasions.
The only time I find it hard to “stand up and be counted for” is when I have had a bit too much to drink.
From what I understand, technically, I do not suffer from Erectile Dysfunction (ED),
and definitely do not need the assistance of the blue pills, yet! Still, at the back of my mind, I am tempted to take the pills to experience what it feels like to be “harder than hard”.
I am a careful kind of chap, and will not consume any medication without considering the risks. I have read online about the side effects of the blue pills and discovered one of the risk of the medication is priapism. Let me clarify this, persistent erection after taking the pills?
Isn’t that what the pills are suppose to do? And why would be the persistent erection after taking the pills become undesirable and require emergency medical attention?
I would like to put Dr. G on the spot about the risk of taking the blue pills. How common is priapism with the blue pills? Why is it such an emergency?
Lastly, should I really consider taking the blue pills out of curiosity?
Priapism is a medical condition named after the Greek god of fertility, Priapus. The mythical god is often related to male virility, as he is blessed with disproportionately large and permanent erection.
In the medical setting, having a persistently erect and engorged penis may not necessarily be desirable, and can even be a curse!
Priapism occurs during which the penis remains erect for hours in the absence of stimulation. The condition occurs about one in 20,000 and 100,000 men per year. The prolonged erection is generally divided into two subtypes.
The Low Flow Priapism, also known as ischemic priapism, is a painful medical emergency when the penis is engorged with non-oxygenated blood, causing cell death. On the other hand, the high flow priapism is non-ischemic, and generally painless and not considered an emergency.
During the ischemic priapism, the blood in the corpus cavernosum is trapped within the erected penis. As the non-oxygenated blood within the penis itself can induce cell death, the risk of permanent scarring of the penile tissues will make it impossible to recover hours after the onset.
The commonest medically induced priapism is sickle cell anemia. Other well documented illicit substances that impact on persistent erections are alcohol, heroin and cocaine.
Poisonous bites from the Black widow spider and Brazilian Wandering spider are also known to induce prolonged undesirable erection. Imagine blaming the spider when presented with a painful hard-on in the emergency room.
Some medications are also well recognised to induce such desirable prolonged erection. These include anti-hypertensive, anti-psychotics and anti-epileptics.
Although medications such as the blue pills are listed as one of the culprits for causing priapism, such complication for a healthy individual consuming the normal dosage is rare. In fact, only two such reports have been documented in the literature, with both patients consuming exceedingly high dosage of the drug.
The blue pills have been in the market for more than two decades. The wide recognition in the popular culture has led to the lure of the pills for recreational consumption by men without ED.
This use of the blue pills for normal men is most likely due to the belief in enhancement in libido, improvement of sexual performance, or even the expectation of penile enlargement.
The studies on the effects of the blue pills consumed recreationally are limited, but the performance enhancement is mostly due to the placebo effect.
The famous scientist, Stephen Hawking once said: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the Universe exist. Be Curious.”
Many men are lured by the curiosity of a magic pill that can create the sparkles in the bedroom, and forget the real art of lovemaking is the curiosity of exploring each other.
When Dr. G is put on the spot by curious normal men lured by the promise of Priapus, without the curse of priapism, his response is: “Look up in the head and not down in the pants. Try to make sense of what makes each other tick, and wonder less about how the other universe are shaped by the magic pills.”
On that note, continue to be curious in the mind to explore the universe of love between the sheets!
Dr George Lee
Dr George Lee is a consultant urologist and clinical associate professor whose professional interest is in men’s health. The column “Putting Dr G on the spot” is a forum to help men debunk the myths and taboos on men’s issues that may be too “hard” to mention. You can send him questions at email@example.com