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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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Erectile Dysfunction: Glossary of Terms


Peyronie's disease: A condition in which a plaque, or hard lump, forms in the corpora cavernosa of the penis. The hardened plaque reduces flexibility, causing pain and forcing the penis to bend or arc during erection.

Pituitary gland: Endocrine gland at the base of the brain that produces hormones that control other glands and many body functions, including growth.

Premature ejaculation: Ejaculation that occurs rapidly and sooner than desired, usually before or soon after penetration.

Priapism: A persistent, often painful erection that can last from several hours to a few days.

Promescent: A drug used to treat premature ejaculation. The topical spray is applied to the penis and contains lidocaine, reducing sensitivity and allowing for more ejaculation control.

Prostate cancer: Marked by abnormal growth of cells in the prostate, it is the most common form of cancer in American men (after skin cancer) and the second leading cause of cancer death in men.

Prosthesis: An artificial replacement of a part of the body.

Retrograde ejaculation: A condition that occurs when, at orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back into the bladder rather than through the urethra and out the end of the penis.

Rheumatologist: A doctor that specializes in disorders of the connective tissues and manages autoimmune disorders.

Scrotum: The sac of skin that surrounds the testicles.

Semen: The fluid containing sperm (the male reproductive cells) that is expelled (ejaculated) through the end of the penis when the man reaches sexual climax (orgasm).

Seminal vesicles: The sac-like pouches that attach to the vas deferens near the base of the urinary bladder. The seminal vesicles produce a fluid that contains sugar (fructose), enzymes, and nutrients. This fluid keeps the sperm energetic and liquefies thick mucus so that the sperm can move freely. The fluid of the seminal vesicles makes up most of the volume of a man's ejaculatory fluid, or ejaculate.

Sex therapist: A professional counselor for people with sexual disorders.

Sex therapy: Counseling for sexual disorders.

Shaft of the penis: Made up of the long, slender cylinders of tissue inside the penis that contain spongy tissue and expand to produce erections (corpora cavernosa).

Sildenafil (Viagra): A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Sperm: The male reproductive cells.

Stendra (avanfil): A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Suppository: A type of medication designed to melt at body temperature within a body cavity other than the mouth.

Tadalafil (Cialis): A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Testicles (testes): Part of the male reproductive system, the testicles manufacture the male hormones, including testosterone, and produce sperm, the male reproductive cells. The testicles are located inside the scrotum, the loose sac of skin that hangs below the penis. They lie outside the body cavity so sperm can mature at a cooler temperature.

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