Vocabulary of Disorders of the Penis

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  • 0:00 Disorders of the Penis
  • 0:25 Balanitis & Phimosis
  • 1:25 Impotence, Priapism &…
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Guys, listen up! Your most precious member can have some unfortunate problems. Some of them are super serious. View this lesson to learn more about them, including which, if any, are a medical emergency.

Disorders of the Penis

Many of the average man's worst fears have to do with his sexuality. Be it performance, or size, or what not. You know exactly what I mean, and I don't have to spell it out.

Well, the problem is that plenty of medical conditions can affect the penis. Some of them are easily resolved and others are painful and potentially life-threatening. Let's walk through them together.

Balanitis & Phimosis

Let's first look at relatively common disorders. It's called balanitis, which is the inflammation of the glans penis. If the foreskin is also involved, then this is called balanoposthitis, inflammation of the glans penis and foreskin. 'Balano-' means 'glans penis,' 'posth-' means 'prepuce (or foreskin),' and '-itis' means 'inflammation.' These problems can be cause by everything from improper hygiene, to STDs, to physical trauma.

Also involving the foreskin is something called phimosis, which is a condition where the foreskin cannot be pulled back over the glans penis. By age 17, 99% of boys should be able to retract their foreskin, but if this doesn't occur, it's called pathological phimosis and will necessitate treatment. This condition can be managed with steroid creams or with surgical procedures.

Impotence, Priapism, Penile Curvature

Okay, now onto the more sensitive topics. I'm more than sure you've heard of these things before. First up: impotence.

Impotence is another word for erectile dysfunction, a condition where a man cannot maintain or achieve an erection during sex. A non-erect penis is said to be flaccid, or limp. Causes for this include everything from drugs, to aging, to all sorts of metabolic conditions like diabetes. It can be treated with everything from aerobic exercises, to medications like Viagra, to surgery that implant prosthetics as a last resort.

Actually, if you've ever watched those late night commercials touting drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, you probably heard at the very end someone mutter really quickly to seek immediate care for an erection lasting longer than four hours. Do you know what they were talking about? It's called 'priapism.'

Priapism is a condition where an erect penis stays erect and is unable to return to a flaccid state within four hours despite an absence of psychological and physical stimulation. I know, I know. Way ahead of you here. You're thinking, 'What man would complain of such a thing!?'

But priapism is a painful condition and I assure you, it's nothing to boast about because it can also lead to erectile dysfunction and the disfigurement of the penis if not treated right away. It can even lead to the need to remove the penis in severe cases. So yeah, nothing to be proud of, guys. Priapism is a medical emergency. That's not too hard to understand, is it? Priapism is a word that come from Priapus, who was a Greek god of fertility and he, as you can expect, had a very large and permanent erection.

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