Objectives: Young men often complain about problems with condom use, but very little information exists about the influence of men's age on penile dimensions and therefore on possible problems in the use of the most important means of contraception in the young.
Methods: We performed a prospective measurement of penile dimensions in 111 men,18 to 19 years old (group A), and in 32 men, 40 to 68 years old (group B). We measured penile length and width in the flaccid state and after visual and manual self-stimulation in group A and after intracavernous injection of prostaglandin E(1) in group B.
Results: The mean flaccid length in group A (8.60 cm) and group B (9.22 cm) was significantly different. The mean erect length in group A (14.48 cm) and group B (14.18 cm) was not significantly different. The mean flaccid width at the base was significantly different between group A (3.08 cm) and group B (2.87cm), but the mean flaccid width at the glans was not (group A, 3.02 cm; group B, 3.01 cm). The mean erect width at the base (group A, 3.95 cm; group B, 3.50 cm) and the erect width of the glans (group A, 3.49 cm; group B, 3.32 cm) were significantly different.
Conclusions: Our assumption that the problems young men experience with condom use may be because of smaller penises could not be proved. To address the problems in condom use in younger men, a larger variety of condom sizes and better information about condom use may be useful.