The male penis is designed for urination, reproduction and sexual pleasure.
When the penis is soft (flaccid), urine can flow from the bladder via the urethra out of the body. The muscles surrounding the bladder neck have to be relaxed to allow this to happen. If these muscles are damaged, for example, from prostate surgery, then there may be leaking of urine (incontinence). Problems such as an enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – BPH) and prostate cancer can interfere with the flow of urine.
The biological function of the erect penis is to penetrate the vagina and deposit sperm in order to fertilise an egg in the female. This reproductive function is common to all species.
For most men, stimulation of the penis is highly pleasurable, irrespective of whether they are stimulating themselves or they are being stimulated by a partner. Sexual pleasure enhances the quality of life and contributes positively towards a general sense of wellbeing.
Adapted from: The SASHA Guide to Erections and Erection Problems. Smart D. © Ronin-Do (Pty) Ltd 2004 and Know your manhood. Lissoos I. KYB Pocket Books 1984
Used with permission from the publishers