How the penis works

Understanding the anatomy of your penis and how it works will give you a better idea of what erectile dysfunction is. You’ll also better understand how our treatments help to restore sexual function.

In this video, you’ll learn that:

  • The penis is made up of three tubes:
    • Two erectile bodies, which are tubes of tissue that fill with blood to make the penis erect
    • The urethra, which is the tube that you use to urinate
  • To get an erection, two main arteries called the cavernosal arteries fill the tissue in the erectile bodies with blood.
  • The penis also has veins that drain that blood from the erectile bodies.
  • The nerves in the penis that are responsible for erections are called the cavernosal nerves, and they sit on the prostate. Men who have had pelvic radiation or surgery on the prostate may have had some nerve injury that can cause a decrease in sexual function.
Last reviewed: 
August 2020

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