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Erectile Function and Penile Blood Flow: Understanding the Anatomy of an Erection

The human body is a wonder, a complicated organism that is a beautiful machine. Individual body parts are also wonders, including the penis – and not just because of the sheer pleasure the penis provides to its owner (and to partners of the owner). Of course, like all parts of the body, it requires proper care and attention, which is why penis health is so important. And part of understanding penis health lies in knowing the various components of the penis and how they are affected by other parts of the body. One prime example of this is how penile blood flow is affected by factors outside the penis itself.

The erectile process

If a guy were to look inside his penis, he would see that there are two “chambers” on either side of it, which start at the glans and travel all the way down the shaft and into the pelvis. These chambers are called the corpora cavernosa, and each one of them is filled with spongy tissue.

Most of the time, the tissues in the corpora cavernosa have a small supply of blood, provided by arteries and vessels in the penis. This supplies oxygen to the tissue, which keeps it healthy. During this time, the vessels and arteries are only partially opened, because a greater flow of blood is not required.

However, when a man becomes aroused, a signal is sent to open up the arteries and vessels so that more blood can get in to the corpora cavernosa. As this happens, the blood fills up the spongy tissue, which expands. As it expands, it fills up more space in the penis, causing the flexible penis to become hard and erect. When it is erect, the blood flow stops, and blood is trapped in the penis so that it remains erect. After ejaculation (or when arousal diminishes), blood is allowed to leave the penis, and it returns to its normal flaccid state.

Flow is important

Clearly, penile blood flow is important for a man’s erection. But there are factors that have an impact on penile blood flow which may not seem obvious on the surface. These include things that cause plaque build-up in the arteries. When there is too much plaque, the arteries cannot expand the way that they need to. As a result, less blood gets through than is required.

When this happens in the penis, the big rush of blood that is needed to create a fully erect penis is impeded. This can result in an erection that is not as hard and firm as needed, or in some cases can prevent an erection from occurring at all. Clearly, this is a situation most men would rather avoid.

Other things that can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries (and potentially impact penile blood flow) include:

– Smoking.

– Drinking too much alcohol.

– Too much low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is commonly known as “bad” cholesterol.

– High blood sugar.

– High blood pressure (or hypertension).

– Carrying too much weight.

– Not getting sufficient exercise.

As with so many things, it can take time to see the effects of these factors – so taking steps to prevent them before they impede penile blood flow is strongly suggested. Consulting with a doctor to determine a plan of action can be very helpful and produce good results.

It also pays to take steps to ensure the overall health of the manhood. Regular application of a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can be a help here. When selecting a crème, examine the ingredients and find one that includes L-arginine. This amino acid helps produce nitric oxide, which in turn helps keep penile blood vessels open when increased blood flow is needed. It also is advised to select a crème with vitamin A. This vitamin has anti-bacterial properties which can help fight the bacteria that cause excessive penis odor, a major problem for some men.

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