Penis Facts

Penis Facts

How well do you know your penis? Here are some interesting and helpful facts about your penis that you may not be aware of.

You can break your penis

If your penis is violently twisted when fully erect, it can break. Even though there are no bones inside the penis vessels engorged with blood during an erection can burst and rush into the surrounding tissues cause a painful swelling. This problem may seem rare but many men are too embarrassed to report it to their GP. Damage to the penis occurs in one third of all cases when the partner is on top. This often happens when the man’s penis slips out of his partner and gets severely bent. Treatment involves a prolonged period of abstinence which most men do not object to as their penis is very painful.

Men have several night time erections

On average, a healthy man will have between three and five erections each night, lasting up to 25 minutes in duration. It is common knowledge that men wake up with a full ‘morning glory’, which is the last of the night time erections. As to why these erections occur is not fully understood but it is believed that it is closely related to the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep when dreaming. Experiencing this number of erections at night is not a problem, but quite the opposite as it indicates that everything is in good working order. A man experiencing erectile dysfunction problems may notice that his night time erections are less frequent.

The penis is not a muscle

The penis does not contain any muscles but is composed of a sponge like structure called the corpora cavernosa, which fills with blood when a man becomes aroused and makes his penis swell. The swelling blocks the veins which normally pump blood away from the penis. As an erection disappears, the blood drains away from the penis.

Penis length is not related to shoe size or height

This myth has been perpetuated by many men with big feet over the years but is completely unfounded according to a study published in The British Journal of Urology International. The researchers from University College London measured the penises of 104 men of differing ages, teenagers to pensioners and found that the average penis size when flaccid was 13cm/5.1” and the average shoe size was 9 (43 European size) indicating that there is no link.

Most people think that a tall man will usually have a large penis, but this is not entirely true. The largest organ recorded was 14 cm (5.5 inches) in the flaccid state. It belonged to a slim man who was 5’ 7” tall (170 cm). The smallest penis measured 6cm (2.25 inches). It belonged to a fairly heavily built man of 5’ 11” (180cm).

Recent studies by Asian scientists have found that the ratio between the second and fourth digits on a man’s right hand seemed to correlate to the length of his flaccid and stretched penis, with a lower index to ring finger length ratio indicating a longer penis. (Asian Journal of Andrology 2011)

Longer is not necessarily bigger!

Studies have shown that shorter penises increase more in length than longer ones when erect. Research based on the measurements of 2,770 men found that shorter penises increased by 86% when erect, compared to 47% increase in size for men with longer penises. Research in the Journal of Sex Research found that the difference in length is less obvious between short and longer penises when they are erect. The flaccid penises varied in length by 3.1cm/1.2’ whereas the average erect penis differed only by 1.7cm/0.67’ (Jamison, P.L. and Gebhard, P.G. 1988).

Some women can struggle to enjoy sex when their partner has a larger than average penis. Some women prefer men with a larger penis However, there are ways in which sexual intercourse can feel pleasureable, whatever his size.

Lumps and Bumps

Check your penis and testicles regularly for any lumps, bumps, changes in the skin or dishcarge. Many of these symptoms are benign but seek medical advice for appropriate treatment.

When doing testicular self examination, check your penis too.

According to Orchid Cancer there are around 650 cases in the UK each year. Generally diagnosed in men over 60, younger men in their 30’s and 40’s can be affected and research has shown that 25% of cases in the UK occur in males younger than 50.

Symptoms of penile cancer can include:

  • a growth or sore on the penis which may look like a blister, wart or ulcer that doesn’t heal within 4 weeks
  • any bleeding from the penis or from under the foreskin
  • any foul smelling discharge
  • difficulty in drawing back the foreskin

These symptoms are more likely to be a sexually transmitted disease than penile cancer so seek advice from your local sexual health clinic or GP.

Don’t let embarrassment hold you back from seeking medical advice, it could save your life.

Useful websites
Orchid Cancer:
Balls to Cancer :
Testicular Cancer UK :
Ballboys UK
Sexual health clinics – or your GP practice have a list of your local clinic in your area.