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What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Prevalence of ED
›› Physiology of Erection
Causes of Impotence, Part I
Causes of Impotence, Part II
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Lab Tests for ED
Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
ED Treatments, Part II
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Main > Specialty Areas > Andrology >
Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence

Physiology of Erection

Penile erections involve an integration of complex physiologic processes involving the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and hormonal and vascular systems. Any abnormality involving these systems, whether from medication or disease, has a significant impact on the ability to develop and sustain an erection, ejaculate, and experience orgasm.

The physiological process of erection begins in the brain and involves the nervous and vascular systems. The chemicals that initiate erection are Neurotransmitters present in the brain. Any kind of stimulation Physical or psychological causes nerves to send messages to the vascular system, which results in significant blood flow to the penis. Two arteries in the penis supply blood to erectile tissue and the corpora cavernosa, which become engorged and expand as a result of increased blood flow and pressure.

Because blood must stay in the penis to maintain rigidity, Erectile tissue is enclosed by tunicae, which is a fibrous elastic sheathes cinch which prevents blood from leaving the penis during erection. When muscles in the penis contract to stop the inflow of blood and open outflow channels, erection is reversed.

‹‹ Prevalence of ED Causes of Impotence, Part I ››

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