Priapism of the clitoris is rare but does occur in a number of settings. It may present in a number of ways and can be distressing to the patient.


Clinical findings:

(1) prolonged erection of the clitoris not associated with sexual arousal

(2) burning, discomfort, pain and/or tenderness in the clitoris, vulva and adjacent structures

(3) discoloration of the clitoris (erythema, cyanosis, other)


Risk factors:

(1) pelvic malignancy (urinary bladder, cervix, uterus, ovary)

(2) drugs (bupropion, citalopram, nefazodone, fluoxetine, trazadone or other antidepressants; any drug with alpha-1 adrenergic blocking ability)

(3) congenital clitoromegaly


Therapy includes:

(1) If drug-related, discontinuation of drug.

(2) If tumor-related, treatment of tumor.

(3) Injection of a small amount of dilute epinephrine into the dilute epinephrine (1:100,000) and heparin (500 U/mL) into the shaft and crura.

(4) Therapy with an alpha-adrenergic agonist (phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine).


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.