The average male’s external genitalia are composed of the penis, scrotum and its related substances, and these parts participate in the normal processes of intercourse, reproduction and urination. But how much do we understand of its composition? Let us provide you with some insight to the male genitalia and some medical conditions that can be associated with it.

The Penis

The penis is the part of the male genitalia that extends beyond the front of the pelvis of a male. Its main functions are fulfilling the process of urination, erection and subsequent ejaculation.  The penis is endowed in penile skin that extends from the front of the abdominal wall. This skin is folded back onto itself at the distal end to construct the foreskin.

The penis hosts a rich supply of arteries and dorsal nerves. The dorsal nerves trail the dorsal arteries and subdivide into the erectile tissue to provide this tissue with both a sympathetic and parasympathetic resource to fulfill the erectile function.

Penile Medical Conditions

Phimosis: The occurrence whereby a male has a tight foreskin that is unable to retract to the rear is called phimosis. This condition could result into an overgrowth of bacteria known as “smegma bacillus” underneath the foreskin, as the area cannot be cleansed. Phimosis can also occur in the case where the foreskin and penis glans endure some scarring and secondary fibrosis. To correct phimosis of the male genitalia, surgery is often required whereby a circumcision will be performed to remove the excess foreskin.

Paraphimosis: In some cases the foreskin is trapped behind the tip of the penis and thus cannot be restored over the penis glans. This result into a painful condition called paraphimosis, as the glans within the point of attachment to the restraining band of tissue becomes swollen. Unless the condition can be alleviated, it may result in necrosis of the penis glans. Effective treatment of paraphimosis includes manual reduction of the foreskin and compression. Should the procedure be proved ineffective, additional surgery is crucial to implement a dorsal slit; a procedure will effectively free the constricting band. A circumcision will also be performed at a later stage.

Peyronie’s disease: Any curvature of the penis that is deemed to be abnormal is very often caused by the disposition of fibrotic tissue, resulting in restricted enlargement of the penis. The penis will therefore curve into the reverse position when erect. The condition may be the result of a trauma experienced within the genital region and will therefore only be a temporary. However, in the event that the condition is unchanging and interferes with the normal processes of the male, it can be corrected with surgery.

The Scrotum and testes

The scrotum is the typical bag-like composition visible underneath the penis that hosts the male reproductive elements and testes. It is protected by skin covered by fine hairs and originates from an intra-abdominal location. The scrotums’ blood supply stems from peripheral arteries, whilst the testes receive its blood supply from the abdomen. However, the testicular artery that passes through the spermatic cord comes directly from the aorta.


Medical Conditions Linked to the Testes

Testical Torsion: Torsion of the testes generally happens post-puberty or in early adulthood. Several factors can cause the condition including a high reproduction of the body fluid that covers the gonad of a male, inadequate fixation or a mesorchium that is disproportionately long. (The mesorchium is the the peritoneum fold that attach the testes to the anterior wall of the scrotal sac). A male with this condition will experience swelling accompanied by an abrupt pain, generally after sexual intercourse or exertion. If the torsion is not relieved, it can result in testicular necrosis; therefore urgent treatment includes primary surgical exploration. Once the torsion has been released, the testis will be secured to the scrotum so as to circumvent a possible recurrence of the condition.

Scrotal masses

Epididymitis: Acute epididymitis is a common disease detected in young adult males as a result of practicing unprotected sexual intercourse, and generally caused by organisms related to Chlamydia. In elderly males the organism “Escherichia coli” which associated with bacterial urinary tract infections, can cause this condition. Males who present with this condition will mainly experience the symptom of noticeable tenderness and swelling of the scrotal content and spermatic cord. An initial diagnosis can be derived from a urine culture, although in younger males it is common to achieve no positive discoveries, in which case a Doppler ultrasound can be executed which will indicate excessive blood flow.  Treatment of the disease includes oral antibiotics, analgesia, scrotal support and bedrest.

To see a GP in the City of London call Broadgate GP on 020 7638 4330 – Same day appointments available.