HealthSheets™


Penile Self-Injection: Notes and Precautions

Man and healthcare provider sitting across from one another, talking.
Man and healthcare provider sitting across from one another, talking.

Penile self-injection is a simple technique that may improve your sex life. Some men even find that self-injection leads to an increase in natural erections. If you have questions or concerns about self-injection or erectile dysfunction (ED), talk with your healthcare provider. The information on this sheet will help you get the best results.

Notes about penile self-injection

  • Know that you may feel a mild burning during injection. This is OK. But if you feel pressure or severe pain, stop the injection. There may be a problem with the injection site.

  • Only inject the medicine on the side of your penis. It may not work if it is injected elsewhere.

  • To prevent scarring, inject in a different spot each time.

  • Don’t use this treatment if you have a bleeding disorder or any risk of infection.

  • Go to the closest emergency room if your erection lasts longer than 3 to 4 hours. An erection lasting longer than 4 hours can cause serious damage to the penis and result in permanent ED.

Work with your healthcare provider

Ask how often you can safely repeat injections, as well as any other questions you have. You and your healthcare provider will talk about follow-up exams and how to get supplies. If the medicine doesn’t work or stops working over time, tell your healthcare provider.

When to call your healthcare provider

Go to the closest emergency room if your erection lasts longer than 3 to 4 hours. An erection lasting longer than 4 hours can cause damage to the penis and result in permanent ED.

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Bleeding or bruising

  • Severe pain

  • Scarring or curving of the penis

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