You've almost certainly measured your penis with a ruler or a tape measure at some point in your life. For most men, it's a sort of rite of passage. Or, at the very least, something to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
But here's a question: Did you get it right?
Believe it or not, there is a correct and incorrect ways to measure your penis! Knowing how to do it correctly can be critical to your sexual health.
The Right Way to Measure Your Penis
You might be wondering why you should measure your penis from the top instead of the bottom. After all, measuring the top of the penis is shorter than measuring the bottom of the penis because it has a clear stopping point—the pubic bone. It is, however, a more reliable measurement due to the clear stopping point.
Measuring the underside of the penis into the pudendal area (aka "the taint") can skew results. On the other hand, most researchers take measurements as far into the pubic area as they can—regardless of hair or belly fat. As a result, your weight and grooming habits will not affect the accurate measurement of your penis.
It's important to note that whether your penis is circumcised or uncircumcised makes little difference. The foreskin adds little (if any) length to the penis.
How to Measure Penis Length?
Although measuring your penis is simple, not everyone is aware of how to do so. Here's how to properly measure your penis length:
- Begin at the top of your penis (the side of the penis facing up towards you when you look down).
- Place the end of your ruler or measuring tape against the pubic bone at the base of the penis (where the penis meets the body). Push the ruler all the way up against the bone, past any excess fat or pubic hair.
- Measure from the pubic bone to the tip of the penis in a straight line.
According to a 2015 study, the average flaccid length is 3.6 inches, while the average length of an erect penis is 5.17 inches.
How to Measure Penis Girth?
In the world of men's sexual health, penis girth—the circumference of the penis or how thick it is—receives a lot of attention. Here's how to do it correctly:
- Wrap a flexible tape measure or a piece of string around the middle of the shaft of the penis and measure it against a ruler afterwards.
- Any part of the shaft will suffice, so go ahead and find the widest point.
The average flaccid penis girth is 3.67 inches. The average erect penis girth is 4.59 inches.
Should You Measure Your Penis as Erect or Flaccid?
Either method is acceptable as long as you understand what you're measuring and what to expect. There is clearly a distinction between erect and flaccid measurements. It's a little easier to measure erect and usually yields more satisfying results, but keeping your results in context is also important.
Using Your Penis Size to Choose a Condom
If you're serious about precision, you'll have taken several measurements over several days and at various times to arrive at an accurate figure. With this information, you should be able to choose the appropriate size of the condom.
If you are of average size, a standard-sized condom should fit you without any discomfort or risk of falling off. If you're larger than average, start with a "large" and work your way up if necessary. Try one labelled "snug" or "close fit" if you're smaller than average.
Over to You
To get the best condom fit, you must first understand how to measure your penis length, width, and girth. Others use a string, while others use a ruler or measuring tape. Ensure that whatever you use does not stretch, as this can lead to inaccurate measurements. Once you've determined the size of your penis, you can use it to find a condom that fits properly. If you are concerned about your penis or are experiencing conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, seek medical advice from your urologist or another healthcare provider.
David Veale, December 2014; Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men - https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bju.13010