Corpus spongiosum

Corpus spongiosum Definition

It refers to a spongy tissue mass located in the penis. It is made of erectile tissue and is also surrounded by Tunica albuginea. More than one of these types of tissue mass is known as Corpora spongiosa.

Corpus spongiosum Synonyms

Sometimes, it is also called “Corpus cavernosum urethrae” which is actually considered to be an old term for the structure. It is also known by various other names like:

  • Spongiose body of penis
  • Corpus spongiosum penis
  • Corps spongieux du pénis
  • Spongiosum de la recopilación del pene

Corpus spongiosum Location

The structure is located in the bottom section of the penis, in the furrow between the Corpora cavernosa.

Corpus spongiosum Function

It enwraps the urethra and protects it from being squeezed and closed when the penis is in an erect position. In the absence of this tissue, the urethra would pinch itself shut during male erection. This would make the smooth passage of semen impossible through the penis at the time of ejaculation.

During an erection, the Corpus spongiosum and Corpus cavernosum get filled with blood and continue to get enlarged until the shaft becomes hard and stiff.

Corpus spongiosum Problems

Damage to this structure may result in difficulties in having an erection or reduce sensations during sex. The Corpus spongiosum can suffer damage due to a condition called Priapism in which an erection is prolonged, persistent and painful. It may also arise due to an injury to the penis.

Corpus spongiosum Pictures

Know how this tissue looks like with the aid of these useful images.

Picture of Corpus spongiosum

Picture 1 - Corpus spongiosum

 Image of Corpus spongiosum

Picture 2 - Corpus spongiosum Image

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_spongiosum_penis

http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/corpus%20spongiosum

http://www.anatomyexpert.com/structure_detail/12206/

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-corpus-spongiosum.htm

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