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The ischiocavernosus muscle is a muscle just below the surface of the perineum, present in both men and women.[1]

Ischiocavernosus muscle
Muscles of male perineum (ischiocavernosus visible at upper left)
Muscles of the female perineum (ischiocavernosus visible at upper right)
Origin Ischial Tuberosity
Insertion Crus of penis
Artery Perineal artery
Nerve Pudendal nerve
Actions Assists the bulbospongiosus muscle (in males, empties the urethra; in females, clenches the vagina)
Latin musculus ischiocavernosus
TA A09.5.02.004
FMA 19730
Anatomical terms of muscle



It arises by tendinous and fleshy fibers from the inner surface of the tuberosity of the ischium, behind the crus penis; and from the rami of the pubis and ischium on either side of the crus.

From these points fleshy fibers succeed, and end in an aponeurosis which is inserted into the sides and under surface of the crus penis.


It helps flex the anus, and (in males) stabilize the erect penis or (in females) tense the vagina during orgasm. Kegel exercises (also known as pelvic floor exercises) can help tone the ischiocavernosus muscle.

Ischiocavernosus compresses the crus penis, and retards the return of the blood through the veins, and thus serves to maintain the organ erect.

Additional imagesEdit


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 428 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Maclean, Allan; Reid, Wendy (2011). "40". In Shaw, Robert. Gynaecology. Edinburgh New York: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. pp. 599–612. ISBN 978-0-7020-3120-5; Access provided by the University of Pittsburgh

External linksEdit

  • Anatomy photo:41:11-0101 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "The Female Perineum: Muscles of the Superficial Perineal Pouch"
  • Anatomy figure: 41:05-01 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Muscles of the female superficial perineal pouch."
  • Anatomy figure: 42:04-01 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Muscles of the male superficial perineal pouch. "