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.
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:
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
Updated 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.