Men’s magazines and internet sites are full of information about how a man can increase his penis size. But the vast majority of that information is misleading or completely false, says urologist and penis expert Dr René Kropman who works at Haga Hospital in The Hague and specializes in penis enlargement surgery. Love Matter’s spoke with the doctor to get the facts.
The truth about penis size
A man’s penis starts growing during pubertywhen hormonal changes cause an increase in length and thickness. 'After puberty, this growth stops. In fact, the penis gets smaller with old age,' Dr Kropman says.
In the Netherlands, the average penis length is just shy of 14 centimetres when erect, according to Dr Kropman. But the world average is more like 12 centimetres, and the normal range is wide - between 7 and 17 centimetres.
But it’s often difficult to measure penis length because more and more men are too fat, the doctor says. When a man’s overweight, part of the penis can disappear into the fat around his gut.
'When you’re lean, you appear to have a bigger penis than when you’re fat. That’s why the best advice you can give a man who wants a bigger penis is to lose weight,' says Kropman. Having too much stomach fat is also linked to difficulty getting an erection.
Every week, Dr Kropman sees men who are convinced their penises are too small. 'Of the men who come to me complaining that their penis is too small, about one percent or less have a micropenis,' says Dr Kropman.
A micropenis is one that measures less than seven centimetres when erect. So most men who think their penis is abnormally small are wrong.
'Usually, there is a psychological explanation for their belief that their penis is too small. Sometimes it happens during puberty when a boy is teased about the size of his penis in the locker-room. Over the years, this psychological trauma can grow like a cancer,' says Dr Kropman.
'In some cases this can lead to body dysmorphic disorder, which is when a person comes to have an exaggerated preoccupation with a supposed deformity of the body. People have it about their noses, their breasts but also the penis. For these men, their entire lives are coloured in grey because of their feelings about their penis size.'
Many men who worry their penis is too small are concerned that they won’t be able to satisfy a woman in bed. Dr Kropman explains to these men that the outer portion of the vagina is the most sensitive and most penises are big enough to get the job done. And some research has shown that 80 per cent of women aren’t at all concerned with the size of a potential mate’s penis.
But explaining this to men doesn’t always help them. 'There’s another group that’s more problematic. No matter how you explain to them to them that their penis isn’t too small, they can’t get rid of this obsession. These men need psychological help to deal with this false perception of reality,' says Kropman.
One thing is certain: a lot of men have a problem with the size of their penises. This is why there are so many products on the market claiming they can make a man’s penis bigger. The only problem is that these products don’t work.
Exercises and weights
Vacuum pumps can be used to help men with erectile dysfunction. The penis is inserted into a cylinder and the air is pumped out causing blood to flow into the penis. The erection can then be maintained by using a clamp or cock-ring. But this method has no lasting effect on penis length and use of the ring for more than 30 minutes can, over time, lead to tissue damage.
Exercises and weights also don’t work. It may be possible to stretch out the skin of the penis by pulling on it, but this would require about an hour of yanking each day, without getting an erection.
Pills and creams
And the use of weights on either the flaccid or erect penis doesn’t increase length and can harm tissue or burst blood vessels. This leaves a guy in terrible pain and in need of surgery to fix the damage.
Penis enlargement pills and creams have never been shown to have any effect on penis size. 'Almost all of the advertising and spam being sent around about ways to lengthen the penis should be prohibited by law,' says Dr Kropman.
In fact, the only way to make a man’s penis look bigger is through surgery, but the results are quite modest.
In extremely rare cases, a penis enlargement surgery can be used to help a man feel more confident. 'If the person has a penis that really is too small and if they also don’t have body dysmorphic disorder or unrealistic expectations, then penis enlargement surgery might be an option,' says Dr Kropman.
'It’s possible to make a number of incisions, on the penis and the ligament that holds it to the pubic bone that can give the appearance of additional length. But this only makes the penis look longer when it’s not hard. There’s nothing I can do to increase the size of a man’s erection.'
On average, penis enlargement surgery adds only about 1 to 1.5 centimetres in length to the penis when soft. 'Most patients are not satisfied with the results,' says Kropman.
Finally, Dr Kropman warns that penis enlargement surgery should only be done in a top-notch hospital by an experienced urologist.
'It’s important that the surgeon avoids damaging the nerves in the patient’s penis,' says Dr Kropman. This kind of nerve damage can lead to erection problems and a loss of feeling in the penis.
Have you tried penis enlargement? Leave a comment or e-mail us your experiences. And does size matter? What do you think? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.