Summary of the structure of the penis



The penis consists mainly of three parallel-arranged columns of erectile tissue that is surrounded by fascia and thin skin.


  • A skin fold, the preputium, covers the glans of the penis
  • On the inner surface of the preputium and on the glans sebaceous glands not associated with hair follicles are found
  • Beneath the skin is fascia with scattered smooth muscle fibers

Three columns of erectile tissue

  • The dorsal side of the penis has two columns of erectile tissue which are arranged next to one another known as the corpus cavernosum penis.
  • Beneath them in the centre the single corpus spongiosum, through which the urethra runs, is located.

Tunica albuginea

  • This dense connective tissue sheath covers each of the two corpora cavernosa.
  • Between the two corpora the sheaths join to form a septum which is incomplete in the distal region of the organ.
  • The tunica albuginea covering the spongiosum contains many elastic fibers and some smooth muscle.
  • The sheath is absent in the glans.

Erectile tissue

  • This tissue consist of a three-dimensional network of trabeculae which gives it a spongy appearance.
  • The trabeculae consist of loose connective tissue and smooth muscle fibers.
  • The trabeculae are lined by endothelium.

© oktober 2007 marius loots