Impotence: Glossary

Here are definitions of medical terms related to impotence.

Alprostadil: A chemical applied to the penis by gel, urethral suppository, or injection, which increases the flow of blood to the penis and produces erection.

Aphrodisiac: A substance that arouses sexual desire.

Corpus Cavernosum: The two erectile bodies inside the penis; they are spongy tissue made up of smooth muscle and blood vessels.

Digital Rectal Examination: An exam in which a doctor puts a gloved finger inside the rectum to check a man’s prostate gland.

Ejaculation: The release of semen from the penis; also commonly called orgasm or climax.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence): The inability to get an erection that is hard enough for a man to have intercourse or the inability to keep an erection long enough to ejaculate inside the vagina.

Testosterone: The male hormone, secreted by the testicles, that controls the function of the penis and a man’s sex drive.

Uprima: The brand name of a drug called apomorphine, which stimulates centers in the brain to enhance and facilitate erection.

Urethra: The passage that runs from the bladder through the penis, through which urine and semen are passed from the body.

Viagra: The brand name of a drug called sildenafil, which increases blood flow in the penis and creates an erection.

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