July 25, 2024

An erection is the result of increased blood flow to the penis. But you may be wondering exactly how that works and whether there’s a specific amount of blood that your penis needs to achieve an erection. However many other parts of your body, like your nervous system and hormones, also impact how and when your penis gets hard.

On average, it’s thought to be about 130ml. It’s a small fraction of the 4,500 to 5,600 ml of blood circulating throughout the adult human body at any given time.

What does blood have to do with an erection?

To make an erection happen the brain, nervous system, blood vessels and certain hormones are recruited. Here’s how this part works:

  • Nerve signals from the brain based on arousing stimuli. Like visual imagery or erotic thoughts can cause the muscles in the corpora cavernosa to relax.
  • Sensory stimulation of the penis or surrounding area can trigger a similar response, with nerve impulses signalling to the tissue in the corpora cavernosa to prepare for sexual intercourse.
  • After an orgasm. The additional blood that engorges the corpora cavernosa will start to flow out through veins in the penis. The same amount that entered at the start of the process will also exit.

Tips to help with healthy penis blood flow

  • Consider quitting or cutting back on smoking. The chemicals in cigarette smoke can injure your blood vessels.
  • Get regular aerobic exercise. Exercising throughout the week helps improve circulation, energy, and overall fitness and self-confidence.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources.
  • Address mental health issues like depression and anxiety. These can affect not just your sexual health, but your overall health.

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