welcome to disease section for erectile dysfunction 

Mechanism of erection
Mechanism of erection

Normal erectile function of the penis can be affected when there is a problem with any of these - blood flow, nerves, and hormones. The process of penile erection begins as the blood rushes in through the cavernosus arteries to fill them when the blood vessels of the corpora cavernosa expands and relax. The blood gets trapped under high pressure, creating an erection. The angle of the erection is determined by the size of the penis and its attachment to the anterior surface of the pubic bone. Sometimes, the brain does not send appropriate signals to the penis which leads to erectile dysfunction. In some cases, loss of fibroelastic component, degenerative changes and lack of adequate blood flow due to certain medical conditions lead to erectile dysfunction.

Blood flow in penis
Blood flow in penis

Normal erectile function can be affected by problems such as improper blood flow through the vessels of the penis. Arteries and veins expand to increase the blood flow and carry blood to and from the penis. When the amount of blood entering the corpora cavernosa (artery) is more than the amount leaving through the veins, these veins get compressed. The erection is achieved and maintained during this time. Erectile dysfunction occurs when the blood supply is inadequate which may be due to several reasons such as high cholesterol, cardiac problems, neurological problems, erectile tissue damage, etc. [Image used under Creative Commons License from Wikimedia]

Human penis shown in different views
Human penis shown in different views

Penis is the copulatory organ of male and it allows the urine to flow out of the body. The main parts of the penis are glans (head of the penis), corpus cavernosum, corpus spongiosum and the urethra. It is the male sex organ too in men. Erection occurs in the penis due to changes in the blood flow through the vessels of the penis. The nerves cause penis blood vessels to expand during a sexual activity. It ultimately results in hardening the tissue in the corpus cavernosum. Corporal tissue maintains erection by compressing penile veins and venules. Erectile dysfunction (impotency) is a common problem in men when the blood flow to the penis is not sufficient enough. Depression, stress, old age, etc increase its chances. [Image used under Creative Commons License from Wikimedia]

Flaccid and erect human penis
Flaccid and erect human penis

An erection is the stiffening and rising of the penis. The erection occurs when more blood flows in and less flows out of the penis, thereby hardening the tissue. This occurs when a man is sexually aroused. However, if a person suffers with erectile dysfunction, erection does not occur. Generally, the cause of erectile dysfunction is usually low blood flow to the penis or a problem with the nerves that control erections. It is estimated that more than 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience erectile dysfunction. Treating erectile dysfunction is not a problem these days.

Penile prosthesis
Penile prosthesis

A penile prosthesis is a treatment option for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. It is a malleable (bendable) or inflatable device. It involves implantation of a pair of malleable rods within the erection chambers of the penis.

Structure of penis
Structure of penis

Human penis is an external male organ that serves as the urinal duct and as a sexual organ. There are no bones in the penis.  An erection in penis results due to changes in the blood flow in the penis. When a man is sexually aroused, nerves cause penis blood vessels to expand. More blood flows in and less flows out of the penis, thereby hardening the tissue.