Troubleshooting the Penis

Your most common manhood questions, answered.

Rob Lamberts, MD,
Episode #044
at docs

Welcome to the final episode of embarrassing subject month. So far we’ve dealt with an embarrassing itch, movements gone wrong, and when pee makes surprise visits; today I cover what many consider the mother of all embarrassing subjects: “male problems.” Or would that be the “father” of all embarrassing subjects.

Troubleshooting the Penis

When I say “male problems,” I am not talking about the inability to put the toilet seat down, properly match clothes, or to ask for directions when hopelessly lost. Sorry, I honestly have no answer for those problems short of hypnosis or huge bribes. I am talking about a man’s ... “manhood.” I have noticed over my years of practice that men are extremely emotionally sensitive to the form and function of their reproductive organ, so much so that problems in this area end up being a major source of depression.

The questions I get asked about a man’s organ fall under three main categories:

  1. Size

  2. Shape

  3. Function

What is a Normal Penis Size?

OK, I am sure you’ve seen the commercials about the men who are taking some amazing herbal drug that makes them get larger and how happy that makes their partner. Worry over size is an insecurity that these companies capitalize on. Teenage boys seem especially worried about their size, thinking their perceived small size is due to some cruel mutation their parents are hiding from them. Unlike girls, who seem to be able to talk about anything with each other, it’s a subject few guys want to talk about, despite this insecurity.

So what is the normal size? Normally men are 3-4 inches long when flaccid and 5-7 inches when erect. Teenage boys stop growing down there between 16 and 18 years of age--it’s one of the last things to develop during puberty.

Does Size Matter?

So what about the famous question: does size matter? Studies seem to indicate that most partners don’t really care about size, although some sources say that of the two extremes, being too large can be more of a problem. A wide range of sizes can get the job done.


There is one significant condition that affects penis shape, and it is called Peyrnone’s Disease. In this condition, the phallus gets a curve in it and is painful when erect. There are a number of causes, and many of them can be significantly improved with either medical or surgical treatments. See your doctor if you have this problem.

Common Problems with Function

There are two main areas in which a man has problems with the function of his reproductive organ: problems with sexual climax and erectile problems. Problems with climax break down into two categories: too early and too late.


About the Author

Rob Lamberts, MD
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