Medical Q&As

Penis - haemorrhage risk?

I am concerned that when I am erect the veins in my penis seem to protrude too much. I have heard of people having burst blood vessels during sexual activity. Is this a likely occurrence?

It is normal for the veins on the surface of the penis to become engorged during sexual arousal. Blood flow into the penis increases during sexual activity and this is the actual mechanism that results in erection of the penis. The corpus cavernosum is a sponge-like shaft of tissue that runs the length of the penis. This tissue becomes engorged with blood during sexual activity and the penis then becomes erect. I have never dealt with a patient suffering a haemorrhage from engorged blood vessels on the penis during my 21-year career in general practice nor did I encounter such a case in my earlier hospital based training. In the unlikely and rare event of haemorrhage occurring from the surface of the penis severe trauma would be the most likely cause and not normal sexual activity.