We are familiar with the idea that erections occur because of sexual desire. However, erections also occur as a reflex, with no participation of erotic stimulation. 


  • Erections start before birth, and can be oberved by echography at the 23th week after conception. These erections in utero erections are frequent: 1 to 3 every hour.


  • During childhood, and all life long, erections occur during the so-called pradoxical sleep phases, every 85 minutes during 25 minutes.


  • Since the beginning of teenage years, at 10 to 11, boys experience day erections, with or without eroctic stimulations.


The role of these erections, unrelated to erotic stimulations, is unknown. It may be a way to enhance and secure function of the erectile system.

An unknown proportion of baby boys do not have visible erections. Whether this is a health problem or not is unknown, in particular, whether this is a sign predictive of future erectile dysfunction early in sexual life.

Disappearance of morning erections in adults is a health concern. It Is usually associated with severe erectile dysfunction.