Are Veins on My Penis Normal?
It's normal to have a veiny penis. The veins are a critical part of the blood flow that's needed for an erection during sexual intercourse.
Blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries, are an important part of the anatomy and physiology of the penis.
What causes a veiny penis?
When you have an erection, your arteries expand to allow more blood to flow into the penis, and the veins narrow to trap the blood, making the penis hard and giving you the firmness that you need for sex.
The penile veins also take blood from the penis back to the heart. Veins might be more prominent than usual during and immediately after an erection. After you ejaculate, veins carry the blood out of the penis, which then returns to a flaccid state.
In most cases, the appearance of large veins is nothing to worry about and indicates a healthy blood flow. The top side of the penis has an especially large vein known as the deep dorsal vein. This vein, which runs the length of the shaft and flows into the prostatic venous plexus near the prostate gland, drains oxygen-depleted blood away from the glans, the external head of the penis.
Why could there be hard veins or extra veins in your penis?
Some men simply have more noticeable veins in their penis than other men. However, if you've noticed a change in your penile veins, some of the potential causes of prominent veins include:
Varicocele. This is the enlargement of the veins that make up the pampiniform plexus in the scrotum, the external sac of skin that holds the testicles. Varicoceles develop during puberty and affect approximately one-tenth of young males. It's not known what exactly causes varicoceles, but reduced blood flow, swollen lymph nodes and injury to the testicles are all believed to be contributing factors. Varicoceles typically do not require treatment unless you are also experiencing pain, a lump on the testicle or a low sperm count.
Blood clots. A blood clot, also called deep vein thrombosis, forms when a mass of blood cells come together within a blood vessel, limiting or blocking blood flow. Blood clots in the penis typically develop in the deep dorsal vein. This is a rare condition called penile Mondor's disease.
Blood clots can cause enlarged penis veins as well as pain. They may be more painful during an erection. Potential causes of blood clots include trauma to the penis, frequent sexual activity, lack of sexual activity or tumors in the penis.
'While you may feel uncomfortable talking with your doctor about veins in your penis, remember that you are not alone and doctors get these questions from patients regularly.'
Lymphedema. If you have issues with your lymph system, you could develop genital lymphedema. This swelling in the penis or scrotum occurs when an excess of lymph, the clear-to-white fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body, leaks into the surrounding tissue. This condition can make veins more visible.
Surgery. Certain surgeries performed on the penis, scrotum or legs could potentially affect blood flow to the penis. Varicocelectomy, vasculitis and vein removal are all surgeries that could lead to an especially veiny penis.
Excessive masturbation. If masturbating causes irritation, it could lead to inflammation and more prominent veins. However, if you are not experiencing irritation while masturbating, it's unlikely that it would be a factor.
Genetics and age. These factors can influence skin thickness, which might make veins look bigger than usual.
What to do with penis vein pain
See your doctor if you are experiencing pain, swelling or changes in the color of the penis. Painful erections or pain when you touch the veins in your penis are a cause for concern. While you may feel uncomfortable talking with your doctor about veins in your penis, remember that you are not alone and doctors get these questions from patients regularly.
Doctors are trained to answer whatever sexual health questions you may have.
Again, veins in the penis are normal and unless you are experiencing pain or irritation, your penis is most likely perfectly healthy.