Waking up with an erection is something all too common for men.
At its worst it’s embarrassing and can make going to the toilet much harder, but at its best it can kick-start the morning.
Now scientists have revealed the surprising reasons why men get an erection as soon as they open their eyes.
Sergio Diez Alvarez, a director of medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia, in an article for a newspaper tagged The Conversation says, a ‘morning glory’ can explain a lot about someone’s sexual function.
“Morning penile erections affect all males, even males in the womb and children”, says Sergio Diez Alvarez, a director of medicine based in New South Wales
The morning penile erection, or as it is medically known, ‘nocturnal penile tumescence’.
Not only is it an interesting physiological phenomenon, it can also tell us a lot about a patient’s sexual function.
It also has a female counterpart in the less frequently discussed nocturnal clitoral erection.
WHAT CAUSES ERECTIONS?
Penile erections occur in response to complex effects of the nervous system and endocrine system, the glands that secrete hormones into our system on the blood vessels of the penis.
When sexually aroused, a message starts in the brain, sending chemical messages to the nerves that supply the blood vessels of the penis, allowing blood to flow into the penis.
The blood is trapped in the muscles of the penis, which makes the penis expand, resulting in an erection.
Several hormones are involved in influencing the brain’s response, such as testosterone.
This same mechanism can occur without the involvement of the brain, in an uncontrolled reflex action that is in the spinal cord.
This explains why people with spinal cord damage can still get erections and why you can get erections when not sexually aroused.