Glossary

Arteries: Blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to various parts of the body.

Cholesterol: A fat-like substance important to certain body functions but which, in excessive amounts, contributes to unhealthy fatty deposits in the arteries that may interfere with blood flow.

Corpora cavernosa: Two cylinder-shaped bodies that lie side by side in the penis and that, when filled with blood, enlarge to cause the penis to swell and become erect (erection chambers).

Genitalia: The external sexual organs.

Hardening of the arteries: Common descriptive expression referring to a group of diseases (forms of arteriosclerosis) characterized by abnormal thickening and hardening (sclerosis) of arterial walls, in which the walls lose their elasticity.

Orgasm: Sexual climax.

Semen: The thick whitish fluid, produced by glands of the male reproductive system, that carries the sperm (reproductive cells) through the penis during ejaculation.

Testosterone: Male hormone responsible for sexual desire and for regulating a number of body functions.

Tumescence: Swelling of the penis caused by increased blood flow into the corpora cavernosa.

Tunica albuginea: Dense, fibrous, elastic sheath enclosing the corpora cavernosa in the penis. Compression of small blood vessels against the tunica albuginea during erection holds back outflow of blood from the two corpora, causing the penis to be rigid.

Vascular: Having to do with blood vessels.

Vasoactive: Affecting the size (diameter) of blood vessels.


Acknowledgement - Above guidelines published by the American Urological Association

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