A man who had an erection for 36 hours said the pain was so intense he feared his penis would fall off.
Elliott Rossitter, who was on holiday in Nice at the time, developed the erection at random without feeling any sexual desire.
Hoping it would go away on its own, the 41-year-old was mortified when he was still stiff the next day and his penis became increasingly painful.
His embarrassing dilemma turned out to be a medical emergency called priapism, in which the penis becomes erect for an extremely long time.
He needed a hole cut into his penis to drain the blood and was unable to have sex for a month.
Elliott Rossitter, 41, was on holiday in France with his partner when he suddenly got an erection at random and it didn’t go away for two days
‘I’ve never experienced pain like it,’ Mr Rossitter, from Bristol, told The Sun. ‘It was absolute agony and I was terrified.
‘I thought it would never go away. It was bigger than a usual erection and wouldn’t stop throbbing.
‘I couldn’t let any clothes touch it. That’s how painful it was. They basically said my penis would die if I didn’t have an operation.’
Priapism is a painful erection which lasts for more than two hours in a non-sexual situation and is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel.
This is most likely the blockage of a vein which drains blood from the penis, stopping circulation and making the genitals fill up with blood.
It may go away on its own but the condition can become an emergency if the body keeps pumping blood into the penis.
Mr Rossitter said he had ‘never experienced pain like it’ and was afraid his penis would fall off
If it continues for too long – four hours is generally thought to constitute an emergency – parts of the tissue can die and cause permanent erection problems.
The condition is rare but it’s not clear how many men get it – estimates range from one in 20,000 to one in 200,000.
Mr Rossitter, an occupational therapist, had been on a week-long holiday with his partner, Sarah Willis, in the southern French city.
‘We were sat around and it just came on,’ he said. ‘I tried to get rid of it but couldn’t. It wasn’t sexual and I wasn’t aroused.’
He believes the condition had been caused by a withdrawal from painkillers he’d been taking after a skiing accident in 2012.
But after giving him steroids and physically draining the blood from his penis, doctors managed to calm down the erection without any lasting damage.
Mr Rossitter was unable to have sex for a month afterwards but insists his penis had worked fine since.
Doctors in France tried injection steroids to cure the priapism but were unsuccessful and had to make a small cut in Mr Rossitter’s penis to drain out the blood, he said
Mr Rossitter was unable to have sex for a month afterwards but insists his penis had worked fine since
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