Anatomy: the penis

IMAGE 1: MALE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT

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IMAGE 2: MALE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT

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TABLE 1: Parts of Male Reproductive Tract

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Length

A non-erect penis usually measures between 8.5cm and 10.5cm (3-4 inches) from tip to base.

The average length is about 9.5cm (3.75 inches). Many factors can cause a temporary shrinkage of two inches or more, for instance cold weather or going swimming, so you needn't worry if you happen to fall short of the average figure.

Interestingly, most penises are very much the same size when erect. A guy whose non-erect penis is smallish will usually achieve about a 100 % increase in length during sexual excitement. A guy whose non-erect penis is already quite large will probably manage about a 75 % increase. This means the great majority of penises measure between 15cm and 18cm (6-7 inches) when erect, with the average figure being about 16.5cm (6.5 inches).

Width

The average width of a flaccid penis is 3.1cm (1.25 inches) and 4cm (1.6 inches) when erect.

Various Shapes

IMAGE 3: Various shapes ;-)

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Uncircumcised or Circumcised

IMAGE 4: UNCIRCUMCISED / CIRCUMCISED

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Advocates for uncircumcised penises assert that the nerve endings in the foreskin and its gliding action contribute greatly to a man’s sexual pleasure. It protects and lubricates the glans, which with circumcision often becomes less sensitive over the years. In circumcised infants, they are much less susceptible to urinary tract infections. The procedure virtually precludes penile cancer and eliminates inflammation (redness and swelling) of the foreskin and glans, usually caused by poor hygiene. Studies reveal that circumcised men are at least twice as unlikely to get herpes, syphilis and HIV during unsafe sex.  However circumcision should not be used as a prevention method.

The Testicles

IMAGE 5: TESTICLES

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The testes are oval organs about the size of large walnuts that lie in the scrotum, secured at either end by a structure called the spermatic cord. Most men have two testes. Testicles are external to the body to ensure that they remain cooler than the rest of the body, providing the ideal climate for sperm production. About 90 % of testosterone, male hormones, originates in the testicles before it enters the bloodstream to travel throughout the body. Testicular cancer has the highest cure rate of any cancer when it is detected at an early stage. Monthly self-exams are encouraged and should take place after a shower when the scrotal skin is relaxed.  Gently touch and feel the testicle for any abnormalities, such as peculiar or irregular lumps. Self-examination can be a fun experience if your partner performs it for you. Obviously you could return the favour.

Pubic Hair

The function of pubic hair is:

  • visual indicator of sexual maturity;
  • collection of secreted pheromones;
  • eduction of external friction during sexual intercourse;
  • warmth (which may be a side effect).

How an Erection is Formed

An erection is the stiffening and rising of the penis, which occurs during sexual arousal, though it can also happen in non-sexual situations. The primary physiological mechanism that brings about an erection is the autonomic dilation of arteries supplying blood to the penis, which allows more blood to fill the three spongy erectile tissue chambers in the penis, causing it to lengthen and stiffen. The now-engorged erectile tissue presses against and constricts the veins that carry blood away from the penis. More blood enters than leaves the penis until an equilibrium is reached where an equal volume of blood flows into the dilated arteries and out of the constricted veins; a constant erectile size is achieved at this equilibrium.

IMAGE 6: ERECTION - drawing

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IMAGE 7: ERECTION - photograph

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