Penis lengths published to allay worries

Penis lengthA systematic review that included more than 15 000 men has found that the average length of a flaccid penis is 9.16 cm and an erect penis 13.12 cm.

The research, published in the journal BJU International,1 includes graphical diagrams, or nomograms, to show the range of male penis size measurements across all ages and races. The study authors said that the findings may be helpful when counselling men who are worried about the size of their penis despite it falling within a normal range.

The researchers searched the medical literature and found 20 studies including as many as 15 521 men who had penis size measurements taken by health professionals using a standard procedure. The mean length of a flaccid penis was 9.16 cm, with a standard deviation of 1.57 cm. The mean stretched length was 13.24 cm (SD 1.89), and the mean erect length was 13.12 cm (SD 1.66). The average flaccid circumference was 9.31 cm (SD 0.90), and the average erect circumference was 11.66 cm (SD 1.10). A small correlation was found between the length of an erect penis and height (r=0.2 to 0.6).

One limitation is that the data included more measurements of flaccid length than erect length: only four studies, including a total of 692 men, measured the length of an erect penis. The researchers said that measurements of a flaccid penis may be less reliable and more dependent on the temperature of the surroundings, the level of arousal, and the professional person measuring. Another limitation is that some of the volunteers across different studies may have taken part because they were more confident of their penis size than the general male population.

The study leader, David Veale, of King’s College, London, said, “We believe these graphs will help doctors reassure the large majority of men that the size of their penis is in the normal range. We will also use the graphs to examine the discrepancy between what a man believes to be their position on the graph and their actual position or what they think they should be.”

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