What is the anatomy of the penis?

Jan L. Shifren, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology
A man's sexual anatomy is a straightforward affair. The primary structure is the penis. This organ does triple duty serving a man's sexual, reproductive, and urinary functions. The penis includes these structures:

Glans: The head of the penis. The urethral opening at the tip of the glans allows urine and semen to leave the penis.

Corona: The ridge that separates the glans from the shaft. This and the glans are the most sensitive portions of a man's penis.

Shaft: The main part of the penis. It houses the corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum.

Corpora cavernosa (erectile bodies): Two flexible cylinders of erectile tissue that run the length of the penis to support erection.

Corpus spongiosum (spongy body): A cylindrical body of erectile tissue that surrounds the urethra and includes the glans.

Central artery: The vessel that supplies blood to erectile tissue in the corpora cavernosa.

Scrotum: The sac of skin at the base of the penis that holds the testes. The scrotum is covered, to varying degrees depending on the individual, with pubic hair.

Testes or testicles: The reproductive glands that produce sperm.

Urethra: A narrow tube that extends the length of the penis and carries both urine and semen out of the body.

Prostate gland: A walnut-sized gland located at the base of the bladder. The prostate produces a milky fluid that carries the sperm out of the body during ejaculation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.