Health Encyclopedia

Blood Supply to the Penis

Blood Supply to the Penis

Picture of blood supply to the penis

Illustration copyright 2002 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

When a man becomes aroused, his brain sends nerve impulses that increase blood flow to his penis. The blood fills the spongy chambers (corpora cavernosa) in the penis, causing it to expand and become rigid. The veins that would normally drain blood from the penis constrict, trapping the blood inside and maintaining the erection.

After ejaculation or when the man is no longer sexually aroused, the arteries narrow, the veins expand, and the blood drains out of the penis. The penis returns to its normal size and is no longer rigid.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Last Revised May 14, 2012

Last Revised: May 14, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.