Length of Penis, Index Finger Correlated in Healthy Young Men

Laurie Barclay, MD

October 02, 2002

Oct. 3, 2002 — Men are often concerned about the adequacy of their external genitalia. To determine a basis on which to advise patients, investigators measured penile length and testicular volume in healthy young males and compared them with other body measures, as reported in the September issue of Urology.

"The lack of standardized metric data and the absence of widely acceptable criteria on the proper size of the external genitalia poses major difficulties in the counseling and/or treatment of young adult men with worries of sexual inadequacy," write Evangelos Spyropoulos, MD, PhD, and colleagues from the Naval and Veterans Hospital of Athens, Greece.

Somatometric parameters measured in physically normal men younger than age 40 years included tape measurements of penile dimensions in the flaccid-stretched state (total, shaft, glanular lengths), penile shaft volume calculation, and ultrasonographic testicular volume estimation. These values were tested for correlation with age, height, weight, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, and index finger length.

Mean testicular volume was 16.9 ± 4.7 cm 3; total penile length, 12.18 ± 1.7 cm; penile shaft length, 7.76 ± 1.3 cm; glanular length, 4.4 ± 0.4 cm; and penile shaft volume, 46.5 ± 17.2 cm 3. Although total, shaft, and glanular penile length were significantly correlated to index finger length ( P<.05) and to penile shaft volume ( P<.001), the authors recommend larger-scale studies involving more subjects to confirm this trend.

"The proposed mathematical formula...presumably could become a useful tool in the field of clinical evaluation of erectile dysfunction," the authors write. "Age and somatometric parameters were not associated with the size of the genitalia, excluding the index finger length, which correlated significantly with the dimensions of the flaccid, maximally stretched, penis."

Urology. 2002;60:485-491

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD