Penile Length: Measurement Technique and Applications

Sex Med Rev. 2018 Apr;6(2):261-271. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.10.002. Epub 2017 Dec 28.


Introduction: Penile size has long been an important fixation in men's lives. On the one hand, a smaller penis has been associated with anxiety and apprehension; on the other hand, a larger penis has generally been related to virility and strength. These perceptions predominate during an erection, when penile size is representative of a man's masculinity.

Aim: To assess adult penile length and summarize average penile length assessments from the literature; analyze how various urologic diseases and therapies affect penile length and volume; and review how surgical treatments for Peyronie's disease, penile prosthesis implantation, and radical prostatectomy can affect penile size to appropriately counsel patients seeking such therapies and set realistic goals for patients.

Methods: To achieve the aim of this review, we analyzed the literature on penile size and volume and how these can be affected by various urologic diagnoses and therapies. We summarize common diagnoses and therapies that can affect penile size.

Main outcome measure: We thoroughly discuss how the aforementioned diagnoses and therapies can negatively affect penile size. In doing so, we allow readers to understand the intricacies of penile size when faced with such diagnoses and therapies in their patients.

Results: Surgical treatments for Peyronie's disease, penile prosthesis implantation for refractory erectile dysfunction, and radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer can lead to a decrease in penile size.

Conclusion: Urologists must recognize that the different therapies they offer can affect a man's penile size, often negatively. This in turn can lead to poorer satisfaction outcomes in patients. Davoudzadeh EP, Davoudzadeh NP, Margolin E, et al. Penile Length: Measurement Technique and Applications. Sex Med Rev 2018;6:261-271.

Keywords: Inflatable Penile Prosthesis; Penile Size; Penile Volume; Peyronie’s Disease; Plaque Incision and Grafting; Radical Prostatectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weights and Measures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Penile Diseases / physiopathology
  • Penile Diseases / surgery*
  • Penile Implantation
  • Penis / anatomy & histology*
  • Penis / physiopathology
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*