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What is An Erection?

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Erections are a direct result of a chain reaction. This reaction begins in the brain when someone becomes aroused. This leads to extra blood flow to the penis causing it to harden and seemingly grow. 

In fact, an erect penis is able to hold up to around eight times its normal amount of blood. If you’re having any issues with getting an erection, this could be a sign that you are experiencing some sort of health condition, such as erectile dysfunction. 

If you have a penis, you are likely very familiar with the stages of getting erect. However, this doesn’t mean that penises are easy. Sometimes, they can still seem pretty exotic at times. 

It is important to recognize that penises are pretty amazing. Erections require several different body systems to work together in collaboration all at the same time. However, this isn’t just a sign that you’re ready to have sex.

If the process isn’t working properly, it can be a large indicator of other issues. Let’s take a quick look at erections and how they work. 

What’s an Erection?

So, what is an erection? While many people think that arousal is the only step to getting an erection, erections are actually extremely complicated. Each one requires your nerves, hormones, mood, and blood vessels to work as a team seamlessly in a sequence of events. 

When everything works perfectly, an erect penis occurs. However, just one missed reaction in that chain can lead to erectile dysfunction.

The Stages of Getting Erect

The penis itself consists of the shaft, the head, and the opening of the urethra, also known as the meatus. From there, two tubes, known as the corpora cavernosa, run down the entire length of the penis. 

These tubes are filled with many tiny blood vessels and spongy tissue. It is also important to know about the corpus spongiosum which runs down the length of the penis on the underside and houses the urethra. An erection is often seen as the most obvious sign of sexual arousal.

It is a physical response as a result of a chemical reaction in the body. When arousal begins, the tiny blood cells in the penis begin to dilate. The spongey tissue then fills with blood and the erection occurs.

When a man is no longer sexually aroused or after ejaculation occurs, the blood drains away. After this, the penis returns to its flaccid size and appearance. 

What Happens If You Can’t Get an Erection?

Erectile dysfunction is one of the leading causes of men not being able to achieve an erection. However, erectile dysfunction can also be the first warning signs of serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone, or high blood pressure. 

If you’re worried, you should ensure that you seek professional help!

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This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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