Erection meaning in biology – Erection, also called tumescence, is the process in which the penis is engorged with large volumes of blood on sexual arousal.

Biological Factors Leading to an Erection

Penile anatomy- A normal penile anatomy healthy enough for appropriate erection

Neuro-vasculature – Parasympathetic nervous system has primary involvement in initiating and maintaining the penile erection.

Hormonal factors– Testosterone synchronizes and controls the sexual desires of males.

Molecular factors – Nitric oxide (NO) is a chemical neurotransmitter produced in nerve tissues of the penis and allow blood to fill in its relaxed muscles.

Penile Anatomy 

Penis has three cylinder-shaped chambers:

  • 1. Paired corpora cavernosa
  • 2. Corpus spongiosum

The arrangement of muscles, collagen and elastic fibres allows blood to fill the corpora cavernosa sinusoids, thus maintaining the rigidity of an erect penis.

Tunica albuginea and surrounding smooth muscles sustain the erection by limiting the outflow of blood from the veins. 

The main artery that supplies blood to the penis is the pudendal artery, which has three branches with different blood supplies. One of the branches is supplied to the glans penis; the other branches fill the bulb of the penis and corpus spongiosum.

During an erection, the veins are compressed to limit drainage from the venous supply.

Causes of Erection in Biology

  • 1. Cavernous nerves and pelvic plexus stimulation cause erection
  • 2. Sympathetic stimulation causes detumescence: Inhibiting the release of norepinephrine
  • 3. Parasympathetic stimulation causes tumescence: Release of acetylcholine and NO

5 Biology Facts about Erection

  1. 1. Usually, babies are born with an erect penis
  2. 2. Penis has twice the length that appears outside the body
  3. 3. Terminal erection or angel lust is the term given to erection at the time of death
  4. 4. Penile fractures occur in response to rupture of fibrous tissue
  5. 5. The penis is called no brainer as its nervous control is not from the brain but in the spinal cord

How to Avoid Erection in Biology?

Erections are not controllable for most men. To avoid an erection following measures can be taken:

  • 1. Distraction
  • 2. Meditation
  • 3. Reposition
  • 4. Taking shower

Risks Factors of Erection in Biology

  • 1. One of the most critical risk factors of erection is the impaired balance of relaxant and contracting mechanisms in penile structures.
  • 2. Heart disease
  • 3. High cholesterol
  • 4. High blood pressure
  • 5. Diabetes
  • 6. Obesity
  • 7. Smoking

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is meant by erect in biology?

Sexual arousal in males causes blood vessels, majorly arteries of the penis, to relax and expand. The relaxation causes blood filling in the penile arteries, eventually trapping the blood with high pressure leading to an erection.

What is erection in the reproductive system?

Enlargement and hardening of the penile structure are associated with three cylindrical tissues connected with fibrous tissues. The erection occurs away from the body.

Is erection good for health?

Penile erection is a natural phenomenon and a vital male reproductive system process. A spontaneous erection may be embarrassing and inconvenient, but it is a good sign of a healthy reproductive system in a healthy body. Erection is crucial for penetrative sex.

What means erected?

Erected means hardening in an upright position or at a certain angle but being firm and stiff.

Can you get an erection without testes?

No, a man won’t be able erect the penis without testes. Testes produce testosterone hormone and sperm cells, which help enhance libido and get a proper erection.

What foods help you get hard?

Foods that help in healthy erection:

Watermelon: Citrulline present in watermelon is the nitric acid precursor that helps in the dilation or relaxation of blood vessels to make blood flow to the penile vasculature easy. Other such foods include- gourds and cucumbers.

Leafy vegetables – green veggies have suitable nitric oxide related to erection by filling up the arteries with blood.

Coffee – Caffeine help with muscle relaxation to pave the way for blood filling in the penis

Salmon: Salmons are rich in vitamin D. 

Dark Chocolate: It is one of the top prioritized food for erection as it contains flavanols.

Nuts, almonds, and walnuts: The nut and almonds have good cholesterol called HDL (High-density lipoprotein) that helps clear off bad cholesterol from the arteries of the penis.

Pistachios contain the amino acid arginine, which is good for penile growth and blood circulation in various body parts, including the penis.

Oranges and Blueberries – fruits packed with many flavonoids help enhance blood flow, eventually reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.

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