Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Spring balance evaluation of the ischiocavernosus muscle


We studied the voluntary contractile activity of the ischiocavernosus muscle (ICM) in 21 sexually potent and 97 erectile dysfunction (ED) subjects using a spring balance. A strap was placed around the coronal grove of the glans penis and tensioned with the spring balance. Subjects were asked and encouraged to contract the ICM against the spring balance. We evaluated the length of stroke, duration of contraction, and maximum contractile force. The length of stroke, duration of contraction, and maximum contractile force showed statistically significant differences between potent and ED subjects. Diagnosed psychogenic ED and arteriogenic ED showed higher contractile activity than cavernous ED and neurogenic ED. Our results corresponded to those of previous studies that have urged consideration of the role of the ICM during the process of erection in animal experiments and in human electrophysiological studies. The spring balance evaluation is a useful, inexpensive method for evaluating the ICM.


  1. 1

    Newman HF, Northup JD . Mechanism of human penile erection: an overview. Urology 1981 7, 399–408

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Junemann KP, Luo JA, Lue TF, Tanagho EA . Further evidence of venous outflow restriction during erection. Br J Urol 1986 58, 320–324

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Claes H, Bijnenens B, Baert L . The hemodynamic influence of the ischiocavernosus muscles on erectile function. J Urol 1996 156, 986–990

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Wespes E, Herbaut MC, Caufriez M, Schulman CC . Role of the bulbocavernosus muscles on the mechanism of human erection. Eur Urol 1990 18, 45–48

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Derouet H et al. Treatment of erectile dysfunction by an external ischiocavernous muscle simulator. Eur Urol 1998 34, 355–359

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Henderson VE, Roepke MH . On the mechanism of erection. Am J Physiol 1933 106, 441–448

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Beckett SD, Hudson RS, Walker DF, Vachon RI . Blood pressures and penile muscle activity in the stallion during coitus. Am J Physiol 1973 225, 1072–1075

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Lavoisier P, Courtois F, Barres D, Blanchard M . Correlation between intracavernous pressure and contraction of the ischiocavernosus muscle in man. J Urol 1986 136, 936–939

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Colpi GM, Negri L, Nappi RE, Chinea B . Perineal floor efficiency in sexual potent and impotent men. Int J Impot Res 1999 11, 153–175

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Y Kawanishi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kawanishi, Y., Kishimoto, T., Kimura, K. et al. Spring balance evaluation of the ischiocavernosus muscle. Int J Impot Res 13, 294–297 (2001).

Download citation


  • ischiocavernosus muscle
  • spring balance
  • erectile dysfunction
  • impotence


Quick links