The corpus cavernosa are the two spongy chambers along each side of
the shaft of the penis. When you have an erection, the smooth muscle in these
chambers relaxes, blood flows in through the penile arteries, and the chambers
fill with blood and expand. The expanded chambers press against the veins that
would normally drain blood from the penis, trapping the blood inside and making
the penis erect.
After ejaculation or when you are no longer sexually aroused, the
arteries narrow, the veins expand, and the blood drains out. The penis becomes
To a healthy young man, erectile dysfunction (ED) may seem unthinkable. You can probably remember times (think back to high school) when you wished it wasn't so easy to get an erection.
But as you age -- and especially when you have diabetes -- you may notice some changes. Maybe it takes more coaxing to get erect than it used to. Sometimes it may take more direct stimulation of the penis, whereas merely a daydream or the suggestion of sex was once enough. Or perhaps your erections aren't quite as...