We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Corpus Spongiosum?

By Katriena Knights
Updated Feb 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The corpus spongiosum is a spongy tissue in the penis. Sometimes this tissue is also referred to as the corpus cavernosum urethrae, although that term is considered outdated. It surrounds the urethra and prevents it from being compressed and closed when the penis is erect. Without theis tissue, the urethra would pinch shut during erection, making it impossible for semen to pass through the penis during ejaculation.

At its most internal point, the corpus spongiosum forms a bulb, through which the urethra enters the penis. This tissue then tapers somewhat through the length of the penis, finally enlarging again to form the glans, or the head of the penis. Surrounding and supported by the corpus cavernosa, the erectile tissue of the penis, the glans is the most sensitive portion of the penis. During an erection, the corpus cavernosa engorges as blood flows into it. The corpus cavernosa becomes hard and inflexible, but the sponge-like tissue of the corpus spongiosum remains pliable.

Female sex organs contain tissue similar to the corpus cavernosa. In the female, the erectile tissue, called the corpus cavernosa clitoridis, forms the clitoris, which also becomes engorged with blood and erect during sexual stimulation. Unlike the penis, the clitoris does not contain a corpus spongiosum, because the urethra does not pass through the female erectile organ and thus does not need to be protected when the clitoris becomes erect.

Damage to the corpus spongiosum or to the corpus cavernosa can cause difficulty in achieving an erection or can cause reduced sensation during sexual activity. It can be damaged because of priapism, a condition in which an erection lasts longer than usual and becomes persistent and painful. It can also be damaged as a result of injury to the penis.

In rare cases, the corpus spongiosum is completely missing, resulting in a congenital condition called scaphoid megalourethra. If the corpus cavernosum is also missing, the condition is referred to as fusiform megalourethra. With the supportive tissues normally present within the shaft of the penis missing, the structure of the penis is not properly supported, allowing the urethra to expand in an unnatural fashion. This condition can be detected at birth, often resulting in an overly large, misshapen penis. Megalourethra often is accompanied by other malformations in the urogenital region, so any infant diagnosed with megalourethra should also be examined closely for other congenital defects.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By geekish — On Jul 03, 2011

Penis injury (ow...) such as hematomas and tears in the corpus spongiosum can occur during sex with such movements as hitting your penis on your partner's pelvic bone. However, surgery can repair the tear and this penis injury can avoid becoming an impotence cause. I wonder how common injuries like these are…

By bluespirit — On Jul 02, 2011

As mentioned in the article, one rare cause of corpus spongiosum damage is priapism (an erection that lasts longer than 6 hours). Priapism can also damage and typically damages another part of the penis: the corpora cavernosa.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.