Penis 101 - Play Safe
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No matter how often guys hear the expression ‘size doesn’t matter’, chances are they’ve, at some stage, worried about the size, shape, look, and ability of their penis.

Here are some facts about penises that you probably didn’t know.

During puberty, the penis grows in length and width, increasing up to several times its childhood size. The testicles grow too and are the main factory for sperm and testosterone. They’re housed inside the hair-covered sac called the scrotum.

Inside the penis is spongy tissue that becomes filled with blood during an erection. The urethra runs through the middle of the penis and carries semen or urine.

Erections, which can happen even before birth, might become frequent during puberty. A guy may experience his first ejaculation mid-way through puberty.

There’s little difference in size of erect penises – perhaps a few centimetres. Flaccid (limp) penises vary more, so men with smaller penises will ‘grow’ much more during an erection than men with larger penises.

The head of the penis (glans) is shaped like a rounded cone. Guys are born with a foreskin covering the glans and in some cultures it’s customary to remove this via circumcision. Sometimes circumcision is necessary for medical reasons, such as a tight foreskin making urination or ejaculation difficult.

You might notice veins beneath the skin of the penis, or the occasional mole or skin tag. Some guys also develop small, shiny lumps around the base of the glans called ‘pearly penile papules’. These are normal, but sometimes may be confused with genital warts.

Keeping the penis clean is simple – daily washing with warm water and mild soap or soap substitute, making sure the foreskin is pulled back to clean the head of the glans, and including the scrotum and anal region. Make sure that the glans is dried thoroughly before the foreskin is rolled back in place.  Looking after your penis, testicles, and genital area is an important part of men’s health.

If you’re worried about your penis or want to know more you can ring 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.