The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Sexual Function |

Physiology of Male Sexual Function

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to William C. deGroat, Ph.D.; Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh Medical School, 572 Scaife Hall; Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

© 1980 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(2_Part_2):329-331. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-2-329
Text Size: A A A

The male sexual response cycle consists of excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. The initial event, penile erection, is produced by arteriolar dilatation and increased blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis. Erection is a reflex response initiated by visual, olfactory, or imaginative stimuli impinging upon supraspinal centers or by genital stimulation that in turn activates spinal reflex mechanisms. Sacral parasympathetic and thoracolumbar sympathetic nerves provide the efferent vasodilator input to the penis. Parasympathetic nerves also stimulate secretion from the seminal vesicles and prostate and Cowper's glands during the plateau phase. The orgasmic phase is characterized by seminal emission and ejaculation and the accompanying sensations. Emission of semen into the urethra depends on sympathetic nerves that elicit contractions of smooth muscles in the vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and prostate. Rhythmic contractions of striated muscle (bulbocavernosus and ischiocavernosus) generated by efferent pathways in the pudendal nerve eject semen from the urethra.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $42.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.