While recent research has shown that average sperm counts and testosterone levels have been in decline for men over the past few decades, erect penile length has surprisingly been trending in the opposite direction, according to a new global study.
A team led by Michael L. Eisenberg, MD, the director of male reproductive medicine and surgery and a urology professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, analyzed penis measurements from 75 studies conducted between 1942 and 2021, which recorded this anatomical data from more than 55,000 men ages 18 to 86.
In the context of studies that have found decreasing sperm counts and testosterone levels, “We expected that we would see a similar declining trend when we looked at penile length,” says Dr. Eisenberg, who is also a specialist in male sexual function, “but we found quite the opposite.”
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Researchers Looked at 20 Studies Involving 18,000 Males
The results, published February 14 in the World Journal of Men’s Health, identified an increase of 24 percent in the average erect penis length between 1992 (when the first erect lengths were recorded) and 2021. The change over those 29 years increased from an average of 4.8 inches to an average of 6 inches. The calculations were determined from 20 studies that recorded those measures in more than 18,000 males in that time period.
The pooled data also included measures for flaccid length and stretched length (a way to estimate erect penile length). All measures included were conducted by investigators and none were self-reported. The study team noted that erect length increased significantly over time in several regions of the world and across all age groups, while no trends were identified in other penile size measurements.
Eisenberg suggested that stretch lengths did not follow the same trend as erect lengths because there were differences in how measurements were taken, including how hard a clinician pulled for measuring. Techniques for measuring erect penises, however, appeared quite consistent.
Environmental Factors May Play a Role in Increasing Penis Lengths
“Our reproductive system is one of the most important pieces of human biology. If we’re seeing this fast of a change, it means that something powerful is happening to our bodies,” says Eisenberg. “We should try to confirm these findings and if confirmed, we must determine the cause of these changes.”
He suggested that a number of environmental factors may be involved, such as exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals in our surroundings (pesticides, for example). Some research has indicated that chemical exposure may be linked to boys and girls going into puberty earlier, which may affect genital development, according to Eisenberg.
He added that research has found an association between early pubertal timing and high rates of obesity and sedentary behavior, so that may be a driver behind the trend as well.
Could the Rise of the Internet Have Played a Part?
Larry Lipshultz, MD, the chief of the Scott Department of Urology’s Division of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, who was not involved in the study, found the results surprising given that most environmental and lifestyle factors seem to inhibit reproductive health.
He did propose, however, that the advent of the internet, starting in the mid-1980s, could possibly have played a role.
“You might possibly blame online porn, but that’s just a theory,” says Dr. Lipshultz. “The more someone has erections, there might be greater potential for better erections. The tissue would stretch more, hence would get longer.”
Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better
While some may view an increase in penis length as good news overall, Raevti Bole, MD, a urologist affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in male sexual medicine and erectile dysfunction, stresses that people may put too much value on penis size.
“Overall I think the results are good in that they don’t show a deterioration [of the penis] — but at the end of the day penile length is very subjective, and I think there can be a negative to focusing on this,” says Dr. Bole, who was not one of the study researchers. “There’s a real emphasis on size in popular culture and social media, so I think it’s important for doctors to reinforce that bigger is not necessarily better. My point is size doesn’t necessarily correlate to sexual satisfaction. Patients can feel bad about penis size, and that’s a problem.”
More Research Is Needed
The next big step in terms of research for Eisenberg is to look at other patient populations (such as children and adolescents) to see if there are similar changes, because it may turn out to be an early indicator of a change in human development.
“Also, if there’s granular data on lifestyle factors or environmental exposures, we could try to understand why this may be happening,” he says.
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Why You Should Disclose Your STI Status to Your Partners
In the vibrant city of Kumasi, Ghana, a tale of love, honesty, and courage unfolded. Meet Ama, a compassionate and determined young woman, and Kwame, a kind-hearted and understanding man. Their love story was one that transcended barriers, as they learned the importance of disclosing their STI status to each other.
As their relationship blossomed, Ama found the strength to open up to Kwame about her STI status. She understood that this conversation was crucial for the well-being and trust within their relationship. With a pounding heart and a sense of vulnerability, Ama mustered the courage to disclose her status, unsure of how Kwame would react.
To her relief, Kwame listened attentively, appreciating Ama’s honesty and her courage to share such a sensitive matter. He assured her that he respected her openness and cared deeply for her well-being. Together, they embraced the importance of transparency and understanding in their relationship.
Recognizing the significance of this conversation, Ama and Kwame embarked on a journey of learning and understanding. They sought guidance from healthcare professionals who provided them with accurate information about the specific STI, its transmission, and the necessary precautions to maintain their sexual health.
With newfound knowledge, Ama and Kwame fostered open lines of communication about their sexual health and desires. They acknowledged that disclosing one’s STI status not only promoted trust and respect but also allowed them to make informed decisions about their intimate lives.
Ama and Kwame understood that their journey would involve taking necessary precautions to ensure their sexual health and prevent the transmission of the STI. They diligently followed the guidance provided by healthcare professionals, including the use of barrier methods and regular check-ups.
Their journey was not without challenges, but they faced them together with unwavering support and understanding. Ama and Kwame recognized that their love extended beyond physical intimacy, and their commitment to each other grew stronger through the trials they faced.
Through their experience, Ama and Kwame learned that disclosing one’s STI status is not only an act of responsibility but also an act of love. It fosters an environment of trust, empathy, and support within a relationship. They discovered that honest communication and education were powerful tools that could strengthen their bond and deepen their connection.
As their love story continued to unfold, Ama and Kwame became advocates for sexual health within their community. They shared their experience and knowledge, encouraging others to have open and honest conversations about their sexual health with their partners.
And so, dear reader, the story of Ama and Kwame teaches us that love and honesty go hand in hand. It reminds us of the importance of disclosing our STI status to our partners, as it fosters trust, respect, and responsible decision-making within our relationships. In the vibrant city of Kumasi, Ama and Kwame celebrated their love, empowered by their openness and the unbreakable bond they had formed.
How to Cope With (and Fix) Vaginal Dryness-Naa’s Story
In the serene coastal town of Cape Coast, Ghana, a tale of love and resilience unfolded. Meet Naa, a vibrant and compassionate woman, and Kwame, her devoted partner. Their love story was one of unwavering support and a shared determination to navigate the challenges they faced, including the delicate issue of vaginal dryness.
As time passed, Naa began to experience vaginal dryness, a condition that not only affected her physically but also had an impact on their intimate moments. Sensing Naa’s discomfort, Kwame approached the situation with empathy and a deep desire to find a solution that would allow their love to flourish.
With open hearts and a commitment to their relationship, Naa and Kwame embarked on a journey of understanding and exploration. They recognized that vaginal dryness could be caused by various factors, including hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, and even certain hygiene products.
Together, they sought advice from healthcare professionals who specialized in women’s health. They learned about the various treatment options available, such as lubricants, moisturizers, and hormone therapies. Naa, supported by Kwame’s unwavering presence, sought medical guidance to address any underlying causes contributing to her condition.
In addition to medical interventions, Naa and Kwame discovered the power of open communication. They fostered an environment where discussing their desires, fears, and concerns surrounding intimacy was not only accepted but encouraged. They explored the importance of foreplay, embracing longer periods of arousal and engaging in sensual activities that nurtured their emotional connection.
Naa and Kwame also embarked on a journey of self-discovery. They learned about the power of self-care, embracing practices that nurtured Naa’s overall well-being. They prioritized stress reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, and engaging in activities they both enjoyed. This allowed Naa to reclaim her sensual identity, free from the pressures that accompanied vaginal dryness.
As they navigated the complexities of vaginal dryness together, Naa and Kwame discovered that their love was not solely defined by physical intimacy. They realized that emotional connection, trust, and open communication were the pillars that held their relationship strong.
Naa and Kwame explored the beauty of intimacy beyond traditional notions. They embraced the power of touch, focusing on sensual massages, extended periods of foreplay, and finding pleasure in exploring new erogenous zones. They learned to be patient with one another, acknowledging that vulnerability and understanding were vital elements in overcoming the challenges they faced.
With time, patience, and a deep commitment to their love, Naa and Kwame found solace in the fact that they were not alone on this journey. They discovered that there is no shame in seeking support or guidance, as they realized that many couples face similar challenges.
And so, dear reader, the story of Naa and Kwame teaches us that love conquers all obstacles. It reminds us that addressing and coping with vaginal dryness requires patience, understanding, and a shared commitment to exploring new avenues of intimacy. In the picturesque town of Cape Coast, Naa and Kwame celebrated their love, embracing the beauty of their connection and the strength they found in facing challenges together.
Prostate Cancer: What It Means for Your Sex Life
In the quiet neighborhood of Osu, nestled in the heart of Accra, Ghana, a love story unfolded, weaving together the delicate strands of devotion, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of two souls. Meet Kofi and Akua, a couple whose love stood tall in the face of adversity as they navigated the impact of prostate cancer on their sex life.
Kofi, a kind-hearted and strong-willed man, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, sending shockwaves through their once blissful existence. Akua, a pillar of strength and unwavering support, stood by his side, ready to face the challenges that lay ahead.
As Kofi embarked on his journey of treatment and recovery, both he and Akua realized that their love was not confined to physical intimacy alone. They understood that their connection ran far deeper, rooted in a bond forged by shared dreams, trust, and unwavering companionship.
In the intimate moments of vulnerability, Kofi and Akua openly discussed the impact of prostate cancer on their sex life. They shed tears, shared fears, and explored the options available to them. They sought advice from medical professionals who specialized in cancer care, learning about the potential side effects of treatment and the strategies to navigate them.
Through their research and candid conversations, Kofi and Akua discovered that prostate cancer treatment might cause changes in sexual function, including erectile dysfunction and decreased libido. Armed with knowledge, they embarked on a journey to find new ways to connect and experience pleasure.
They explored the power of communication and trust, recognizing that open dialogue was key to understanding each other’s needs and desires. They learned to embrace the changes and limitations imposed by the illness, finding solace in the knowledge that love transcends physicality.
Kofi and Akua delved into the realm of intimacy, discovering alternative avenues of pleasure and connection. They explored sensual touch, engaged in passionate kisses, and discovered the beauty of emotional intimacy. They embraced the power of non-sexual acts of love, realizing that affection, understanding, and emotional support were the building blocks of their relationship.
They sought guidance from sexual health professionals who specialized in assisting couples affected by cancer. With their support, Kofi and Akua learned techniques to enhance pleasure, utilizing aids and devices that could bring them closer together.
As their journey unfolded, Kofi and Akua discovered a newfound depth to their love. Their intimate moments became a testament to their resilience, strength, and the power of unwavering support. They found solace in the understanding that love is not defined by physical abilities alone but by the profound emotional connection they shared.
And so, dear reader, the story of Kofi and Akua reminds us that love can triumph over adversity. It teaches us that while prostate cancer may pose challenges to a couple’s sex life, it is an opportunity to explore alternative forms of connection and deepen the bond that holds them together. In the vibrant neighborhood of Osu, Kofi and Akua proved that love is not defined by the presence or absence of physical intimacy, but by the unwavering support and unwavering commitment to stand by each other’s side through life’s trials.