According to official statistics, there has been a surge in men who have had to go to the hospital to be treated for painful erections lasting hours.
More men requiring ED medication
In England alone, 326 men had to be hospitalised to get rid of painful erections that went on for hours—a 16% increase compared to a decade ago. The condition is called priapism and, if left untreated for too long, can result in irreversible scarring and impotence.
Doctors are under the impression that this rise in priapism in recent years is largely due to the misuse of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs such as Viagra, Cialis as well as illegal ones like cocaine.
Another theory for why more men are requiring priapism-related medical attention is believed to be associated with underlying medical conditions such as sickle-cell disease and leukaemia. COVID-19 has also recently been linked to trigger the hours-long erectile condition.
Younger men more at risk
Surprisingly, the average age of men in England who were hospitalised for priapism was 40 according to official reports provided by the NHS digital figures. In other words, this figure shows that younger men are resorting to the use of ED treatments than ever before. For Dr Shalini Andrews, of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, the recreational misuse of ED treatments is what's at the root of this rise in numbers. She explains:
This increase is unlikely to be related to increased use of medication. It’s possible that it’s related to worsening presentations of pre-existing conditions or increase in recreational drug use.
However, a study conducted by Well Pharmacy has found that younger men suffer more from ED than the elderly. Their research showed that more than two thirds of those under 35 had admitted to experiencing ED during sex compared to only half of men over the age of 65.
Further, one in three men aged between 18 and 35 said they had taken ED medication to achieve an erection while only one in five men over the age of 55 said the same thing.