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Is there really such a thing as a death erection?

Can you die from an erection?

4628 day(s) ago

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Death erections are real, but they can't kill you because they happen after death. Death erections are common when pressure is applied to the brain at death resulting from hanging or bullet wounds. Blood can also pool in the area if the corpse has been laying face-down.

An erection of the penis or clitoris that lasts over four hours without physical or psychological stimulation is a priapism. A death erection falls into this category, but it can also occur to the living due to sickle cell anemia, leukemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, nerve trauma, or use of certain drugs. This is why ED treatment commercials come with the warning "If erection persists for over four hours, call a doctor."

If a priapism is left untreated long enough, it can cause a blood clot leading to a stroke or heart attack. This is very rare, and often is tied to the underlying cause of the erection. In other cases, gangrene can set in, or the blood vessels can sustain enough damage to cause permanent erectile dysfunction. Again, this is rare. Generally, the patient can take a pseudoephedrine or have blood removed from the penis and avoid these complications.

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