Glans penis

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Definition

noun, plural: glans penises

(anatomy) The conical expansion of the corpus spongiosum that forms the head of the penis


Supplement

In humans, the glans penis is the conical expansion of the corpus spongiosum forming the head of the penis. It is a sensitive structure lined with a mucocutaneous tissue. It is predominated by free nerve endings and has several genital end bulbs. Few Pacinian and Rufinian corpuscles are also in it. It is covered completely or partially by the foreskin (except in circumcised males). The foreskin automatically retracts during an erection. The slit-like vertical opening at the tip of the glans penis is called the external urethral orifice. This meatus is where urine is discharged and semen is ejected during ejaculation. The glans penis is the homologous to the glans clitoris (or clitoral glans) in females.

In other animals, particularly male felids, they are able to curve the tip of the glans penis backwards. This enables them to urinate backwards. Some animals such as felines and spotted hyenas have spines on their glans penis and halfway down the shaft. In humans, some of them have glans penises with small protuberances (~1 mm to 3mm) around the corona or sulcus. They are referred to as hirsuties coronae glandis. These papules are said to be vestigial remnants of penile spines.


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