An Iranian man who had the bright idea of immortalising his girlfriend's name as a tattoo on his penis was left with more than a sore organ - he landed himself a permanent semi-erection.
The case was first presented to doctors in the form of a partially rigid penis of a 3-month duration, with a tattoo covering its shaft and a smaller tattoo on the glans, said an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Upon examination, the patient admitted that the semi-erect organ had occurred soon after he had a tattoo of a Persian script reading "borow be salaamat" (translated to good luck on your journey) and the first initial of his girlfriend's last name ("M") inked onto his penis.
Putting aside the question of why would anyone subject his penis to thousands of needle pricks, how could a tattoo result in a permanent erection?
The answer, as MSNBC's The Body Odd reported, lies in the traditional tattooing technique the man subjected himself to.
The man told doctors that a traditional tattooist created the tattoo manually using a handheld needle.
In handheld needling, a needle is first used to perforate the skin. After which, henna, ash and other natural pigments are applied on the perforated skin surface.
There is no control of the depth of the needle in handheld needling, Iranian urologists wrote in the article.
Prolonged erection can make you impotent
The doctors went on to say what likely happened was that the tattooist punctured overly deep holes that damaged blood vessels in the penis, resulting in a pseudoaneurysm - the pooling of blood outside a vessel wall.
The man told doctors that the tattooing process was followed by deep penile tissue bleeding for several days, which complicated the tattooing.
Soon after, the man began noticing his nighttime erections were lasting unusually long, MNBC reported. A week later, he realised he had a 24/7 semi-erection.
Doctors recommended that he see a specialist to have the excess blood pooling in his organ removed, but he chose to have a shunt surgery instead.
A shunt procedure drains excess fluid from the inflamed areas of the body.
The procedure proved unsuccessful in curing the problem. However, as the man is not in pain and is still able to achieve a normal erection and have sex, he has refused further treatments.
For those out there thinking that the penile tattooing didn't turn out so bad after all - with the man coming out of it with his manhood just looking "bigger all the time" (as one reader put it) - here's a word of caution:
MSBC noted that non-sex related erections lasting longer than four hours are often dangerous for penises, as the lack of fresh blood flow can starve the penile tissues of oxygen.
When a body part gets cut off from its supply of oxygen, the destruction of tissues can result in impotence. Worst case scenario is: the organ can drop off.
As it is, men are advised to follow the last note Iranian doctors wrote in the medical report: "Based on our unique case, we discourage penile tattooing."