Get to Know Your Penis and Testicles
You probably expect good performance from your penis throughout life, but like any other part of your body, you need to understand the various components and the mechanics of what they do in order to properly look after them.
Let’s take a quick look.
Primarily used for urination, the penis has an important role in sexual intercourse. Located above the scrotum, it is composed of blood vessels and sponge-like tissue.
The main parts of the penis that you can see are the shaft and the bulbous tip, known as the glans penis. At the base of the glans penis is the corona. The foreskin is a cloak of skin that protects the glans penis.
Inside the penis, there’s a lot happening. Three columns of tissue run the entire length of the penis. Two of the columns, called the corpora cavernosa, are located on the top of the shaft and fill with blood to erect the penis when aroused. The other, called the corpus spongiosum, is located on the bottom side of the shaft and surrounds and protects the urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body.
Many studies have been conducted to determine penis size, and the findings are typically quite similar. The average length of an American male’s flaccid penis is about 3.6 inches. Erect, the average length is about 5.2 inches with a circumference of 4.5 inches.
The pouch that surrounds the testicles (also called the testes), the scrotum not only protects the testicles but also acts as an air conditioner to keep them cooler than your body temperature. Properly functioning, the scrotum regulates the temperature of the testes at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Two muscles control the location of the scrotum. When the temperature is low, the cremaster muscle pulls the scrotum closer to the body to keep it warm, and the dartos muscle tenses the skin to give it a wrinkled appearance. As the temperature rises, both muscles relax, the scrotum moves away from the body, and the wrinkles disappear.
Inside the scrotum are two egg-shaped testicles, each measuring between 1.5 and 3 inches long. One testicle usually hangs a little bit lower than the other, but that is entirely normal.
The primary function of each testis is to produce sperm and androgens, the most important of which is testosterone.