Sleep pp 657-662 | Cite as

Sleep related painful erections

  • U. Calvet


Painful nocturnal erection is characterised by internal penile pain which only occurs during sleep-related erections [4, 9]. This is a rare disorder, often poorly understood and lacking in documentation. It specifically affects men: only one woman has been reported suffering from severe painful clitoral tumescence, and this was during wakefulness [1]. The most informed work on neurophysiological and neurochemical erectile mechanisms [5, 8] has shown the importance of intercavernous smooth muscle tonicity in controlling penile haemodynamics in the flaccid and erect states, but has failed to elucidate the origin of the syndrome. A hypothesis has been put forward of altered autonomic nervous control [2].


NREM Sleep Nocturnal Penile Tumescence Nocturnal Erection Painful Erection Penile Rigidity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Calvet
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie CliniqueClinique St. Jean LanguedocToulouseFrance

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