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The Man Manual - men's health made easy (in print)
Penises come in all shapes and sizes with bumps and bends and visible veins, the lot. Genuine problems that might actually stop you peeing or enjoying sex are rare and usually picked up when you're very young - so, if you got through the nappy stage you're probably good to go.
Whatever their size to begin with, all penises, when they're erect, are about the same length (between about five and a half and six and a quarter inches long). But it's no big deal. As the vagina can be big enough to let a baby out or small enough to hold a tampon, it can cope with any willy size without loss of performance.
The size of the penis also varies a lot depending who measures it. In surveys when a doctor measures, the size drops by up to 50% compared to surveys where the owners of the penis measure them!
If you're worried about your penis size, have a proper look at it. When you look at your penis normally you're looking down on it. Think about it. It's like looking down on someone from the top of a building. Even basketball players look small when you look down on them from above. Hold a mirror at the side and have a proper look. That's more the sort of the view you get of another bloke's willy in the public lavatory. Honestly, very, very few men have willies that are too small or too big to have great sex with.
There is a condition which affects about 1 in 1000 male babies called XXY or Klinefelter's syndrome where men have an extra X chromosome which may result in a more 'female' body shape. It may cause a smaller than average penis (more often smaller than average testicles). It can also reduce fertility.
Man MOT GP Dr Robert Allcock says: 'In terms of enlargement, there is nothing I can really recommend. There is no evidence that any simple measure or medicine works. And the operations that are available are potentially harmful and only really change the flaccid size rather than the erect size. I would recommend not worrying about the size, and when you do have a sexual relationship make sure you talk to your partner openly to ensure you are both enjoying the experience.'
Penile enlargement operations are, like any other surgery, potentially dangerous and you only have one penis. Liver transplants, kidney transplants and heart transplants are all possible. Penis transplants are not. Don't risk it.
Anyway, many enlargement operations tend only to make your penis look bigger when limp not when erect. Dr Ian Banks, the former president of the Men's Health Forum says of penis enlargement: 'Most claims from commercial organisations are either overblown or inaccurate.' Words like butchers and cowboys come to mind.
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Date of last review 07/04/14
Date of next review 07/04/17
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.
In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.
It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.
We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.
Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.