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Old 08-21-2004, 05:32 PM
KP KP is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 1,789
Actually, nocturnal erection perform an important function. The corpora cavernosa [two spongy vascular beds that run the length of the penis, and are responsible for erection) actually have poor blood supply during the day. They are lined with a special endothelium that is fairly resistant to poor oxygenation, but without nightly spontaneous erections, the corpus cavernosum [that's the singular form] will tend to deteriorate over time, leading to degradation or loss of erectile function. If allowed to progress, this kind of damage may not be overcome by Viagra very well, AFAIK.

At least that was what I was taught in med school, by a researcher who (I'm told) was important in the early research on Viagra. I have read review articles that were less certain of this principle, and called the reason for nocturnal erection "uncertain" or "unknown" but I felt the physiological studies he presented were compelling.