Tag Archive for: length


Article of the Week: Am I normal? A systematic review for penis length and circumference

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15,521 men

David Veale*, Sarah Miles*, Sally Bramley, Gordon Muir§ and John Hodsoll*


*The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London Medical School, King’s College London, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, §King’s College NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK



To systematically review and create nomograms of flaccid and erect penile size measurements.


Study key eligibility criteria: measurement of penis size by a health professional using a standard procedure; a minimum of 50 participants per sample. Exclusion criteria: samples with a congenital or acquired penile abnormality, previous surgery, complaint of small penis size or erectile dysfunction. Synthesis methods: calculation of a weighted mean and pooled standard deviation (sd) and simulation of 20 000 observations from the normal distribution to generate nomograms of penis size.


Nomograms for flaccid pendulous [n = 10 704, mean (sd) 9.16 (1.57) cm] and stretched length [n = 14 160, mean (sd) 13.24 (1.89) cm], erect length [n = 692, mean (sd) 13.12 (1.66) cm], flaccid circumference [n = 9407, mean (sd) 9.31 (0.90) cm], and erect circumference [n= 381, mean (sd) 11.66 (1.10) cm] were constructed. Consistent and strongest significant correlation was between flaccid stretched or erect length and height, which ranged from r = 0.2 to 0.6. Limitations: relatively few erect measurements were conducted in a clinical setting and the greatest variability between studies was seen with flaccid stretched length.


Penis size nomograms may be useful in clinical and therapeutic settings to counsel men and for academic research.

Editorial: When normal is not enough

This is a useful reference on penile size, flaccid, stretched and erect [1]. It is interesting to note that the stretch length is quite a useful surrogate for erect length. Measuring stretch lengths obviously has inter-observer bias. This paper describes the standard technique for measuring from the pubic bone along the dorsum of the phallus to the tip, which is usually the external urinary meatus. Some men could well take solace in knowing that their penile length is within the normal range; however, men who complain of having a short penis are usually more complex. In our assessment, it can be useful to measure flaccid stretch length and explain to the patient that his length is within range for his population, but being told ‘you are normal’ might not be enough. The feeling of inadequate length usually has emotional connotations that may not respond to reassurance. In my experience, these men have been told that they have a small penis in late childhood/early puberty, or else have witnessed an adult penis before their own growth. This misconception then goes uncorrected for several years until they finally present. Locker room comparison does not help, as there is a parallax error in viewing one’s own penis from above as compared with the full frontal view of one’s peers.

At the stage of presentation, a simple reassurance is unlikely to reverse years of conditioning. The patient could experience a dangerous sense of frustration should he feel dismissed as normal. So-called ‘penile lengthening’ by partial division of the suspensory ligaments only has a 27% satisfaction rate among patients with penile dysmorphobic disorder [2]. Provided a medical/anatomical cause is not to be treated, I recommend psychosexual assessment and counselling.

Paul K. Hegarty
Mater Misericordiae Univers ity Hospital & Mater Private, Cork & Dublin, Ireland




2. LiCY, Kayes O, Kell PD, Christopher N, Minhas S, Ralph DJ. Penile suspensory ligament division for penile augmentation: indications and results. Eur Urol 2006; 49: 72933


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