Skip to main content

Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Penis

Definition

The penis is the male organ used for urination and sexual intercourse. The penis is located above the scrotum. It is made of spongy tissue and blood vessels.

The shaft of the penis surrounds the urethra and is connected to the pubic bone.

The foreskin covers the head (glans) of the penis. The foreskin is removed if the boy is circumcised.

Information

During puberty, the penis lengthens. The ability to ejaculate begins at around age 12 to 14. Ejaculation is the release of sperm-containing fluid from the penis during an orgasm.

Conditions of the penis include:

  • Chordee -- downward curve of the penis
  • Epispadias -- urethra opening is on the top or side of the penis, rather than the tip
  • Hypospadias -- urethra opening is on the underside of the penis, rather than at the tip
  • Palmatus or webbed penis -- penis is enclosed by the scrotum
  • Peyronie's disease -- a curve during an erection
  • Buried penis -- penis is hidden by a pad of fat
  • Micropenis -- penis does not develop and is small
  • Erectile dysfunction -- inability to achieve or maintain an erection

Other related topics include:

References

Chung BI, Sommer G, and Brooks JD. Anatomy of the lower urinary tract and male genitalia. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 2.

Elder JS. Anomalies of the penis and urethra. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 538.

Jordan GH, McCammon. Surgery of the penis and urethra. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 36.

Palmer JS. Abnormalities of the external genitalia in boys. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 131.

Review Date:4/15/2015
Reviewed By:Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist at the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No