Perineal nerve stimulation: role in penile erection

Int J Impot Res. 1997 Mar;9(1):11-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3900256.


The effect of perineal nerve stimulation on penile erection was studied in ten dogs. Through a paraanal incision, the nerve was exposed in the ischiorectal fossa and a bipolar electrode was applied to it. A radiofrequency receiver was implanted subcutaneously in the abdomen. Upon perineal nerve stimulation, the corporeal pressure and EMG activity of the bulbo- and ischiocavernosus muscles increased; penile erection occurred. With increased stimulus frequency up to 80 Hz, the pressure and muscles' response augmented while the latency and duration of response diminished. No further changes occurred above a frequency of 80 Hz (P > 0.05). Response was reproducible indefinitely after an off-time of double the time of the stimulation phase. Penile erection upon perineal nerve stimulation is suggested to be an effect of corporeal pressure elevation resulting from cavernosus muscles' contraction. In terms of force and speed of contraction, a stimulus frequency of 80 Hz evokes the most adequate cavernosus muscles' contraction.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Penile Erection / physiology*
  • Penis / innervation*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*