what is an erection

What is an Erection?

An erection is a hardening of the penis that occurs when the penis fills with blood. It usually happens as a result of sexual arousal, but there are a variety of other factors that can cause it.

What Causes an Erection?

An erection occurs when blood rushes into the penis. Sexual arousal is the most common cause, but can also be caused by other physical and psychological factors, such as:

  • Stimuli from the environment
  • Thinking about sexual activities
  • Physical touch
  • Visual images
  • Hormones
  • Medications

What happens during an erection?

When an erection occurs, the penis increases in size and becomes firm. Blood also rushes to the penis and testicles, causing them to swell and become more sensitive.

The muscles in the penis tighten and the veins that normally carry blood away from the penis become blocked. This makes it difficult for the blood to drain out, allowing it to remain in the penis.

Signs of Erection

Common signs of an erection include:

  • Swollen penis
  • Tightened muscles
  • Increased blood flow
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Hardening of the penis

An erection can last for a few minutes or for several hours depending on the arousal level and other factors.


An erection is a completely normal reaction to sexual arousal and is a result of increased blood flow to the penis. Understanding what happens during an erection can help you better understand your own body and how to best achieve and maintain a healthy sex life.

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