Skip to content

Men's Health

Select An Article

This article is from the WebMD Feature Archive

Font Size

Is My Penis Too Small?

Micropenis, Inconspicuous Penis Less Common Than Small Penis Syndrome
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Jan. 19, 2012 -- Is my penis too small? That's a question that men aren't likely to ask their friends or sex partners.

But behind the closed doors of a doctor's examining room, it's a common question.

Recommended Related to Men

On the Death of My Father

My father lived with me and my family during the last two years of his life while he sank ever deeper into Alzheimer’s disease. His behavior was frequently bizarre. He might emerge from his bedroom with three of my son’s baseball caps piled on top of his head but wearing no pants. When trying to participate in a conversation, he might blurt out passionate pronouncements that made no sense at all. “Ya see, the individualism is something that’s not already formed,” he would bellow. “You gotta...

Read the On the Death of My Father article > >

Pediatric urologist Lane S. Palmer, MD, chief of pediatric urology at Cohen Children's Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y., hears it a lot.

"Fathers often will ask it about their sons -- and, while in the office, will ask about themselves," Palmer tells WebMD.

Men worried about their penis size usually have some other excuse for seeing a doctor, says Bruce R. Gilbert, MD, PhD, director of reproductive and sexual medicine at the Smith Institute for Urology in Lake Success, N.Y.

"When they come in for something else, they ask, 'Oh, by the way, I am concerned about the length of my penis,'" Gilbert tells WebMD. "Most are men in the 20-to-40 age group. But some are aged 40 to 50, and some even older men ask."

The vast majority of these men are in for a surprise. Worry about small penis size is common. Abnormally small penis size is not.

Penis Size: What's Normal, What's Not

You might think that as long a man's penis works, he would have no problem with it. You would be wrong.

Penis size is a key element of a man's self-image. Yet when he's not boasting to other men, the average man significantly underestimates the relative size of his penis.

Here's an example: Over a two-year period, 67 men asked an Italian hospital for surgical correction of a small penis. All turned out to have normal-size penises.

"A few days ago, I had a patient who spent an hour taking measurements of his penis and thinking it is too small," Gilbert says. "Yet it was normal."

That man isn't alone. About 45% of his brethren want a bigger penis. Never mind that 85% of heterosexual women say they are satisfied with their partners' penis parameters.

Many men worry about the size of their erections. Many more worry about how their penis looks when it's limp, studies find.

So how can a man know if he's normal, super-sized, or small? Not by his shoe size, a common and disproved myth about estimating penis length. Like so much else in life, direct measurement is the key.

How to Measure a Penis

Men may be surprised to learn that penis length isn't measured on the erect penis. Too many variables are involved.

Instead, the most reliable penis measurement is called SPL -- stretched penis length. The longer a man's SPL, the longer his erect penis length, according to studies done on brave young men who volunteered to have erection-stimulating penis injections.

To learn your SPL, measure the penis while it's flaccid. Press the ruler tight against the pubic bone at the base of the penis. Don't just measure from where the penis separates from the scrotum, or you'll lose precious centimeters. Now gently, but very firmly, stretch the penis as far as it will go. Measure from the pubic bone to the tip of the stretched penis.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video