The penis is the male organ used for urination and sexual intercourse. It is made up of spongy tissue and blood vessels. The shaft of the penis surrounds the urethra and is connected to the pubic bone. The foreskin covers the head (glans) of the penis. The foreskin is removed if the boy is circumcised.

The penis is located above the scrotum.

During puberty, the penis lengthens. The ability to ejaculate begins around 12 to 14 years of age.

Conditions of the penis include:

  • Peyronie’s disease (a curve during erection)  
  • Double penis (during development, the penis is divided by the urethral groove)  
  • Hypospadias (the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis, rather than at the tip)  
  • Epispadias (the opening of the urethra is on the top or side of the penis, rather than the tip)  
  • Palmatus or webbed penis (the penis is enclosed by the scrotum)  
  • Chordee

See also:


Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Janet G. Derge, M.D.

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