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Is my penis normal?

Your penis is your pride and joy, so it's natural to worry it's not top notch. We asked Dr Ranj Singh all those squeamish questions about your willy so you don't have to worry anymore.

boy looking down trousers

What the hell is going on now?

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What penis size – or shape – is normal?

Put down the ruler. Stop peering into your boxers. And, yes, staring at your mates’ phalluses in the changing rooms is giving the wrong impression. Want the truth? Your penis size is most likely totally average.

“Every bloke has, at some point, been preoccupied with their penis size,” says Dr Ranj, “but actual ‘normal’ penis size is a lot smaller than most boys think.”

In fact, five to six inches – when erect – is the standard size. But willy length can fall lower or higher than that. They vary massively. And they’re all normal.

It’s worth noting that flaccid penis length is absolutely no indicator of how big an erect penis becomes. So spare yourself the changing room comparison. It’s likely you and Mr-Monster-from-football are pretty much the same size when you’re both excited.

My penis is bent, what should I do?

So your little friend has a left or right leaning? It’s usually no reflection of your overall health.

“Bendy willies can be normal,” says Dr Ranj. “Especially if it’s always been that way. As long as you’ve always had it, and it doesn’t hurt, then it’s nothing to worry about.”

However, if you’ve randomly developed a bend and it’s painful to get an erection, it may be of concern. Peyronie’s disease is a condition where scar tissue forms on one side of the penis, causing it to bend. If you think this is you, get it checked at the GP. It can be fixed with steroid injections or a simple operation.

Don’t leave it. It will just get bendier, more painful, and make sex near impossible (unless you are a quadruple-jointed, boneless circus performer).

Ouch! My foreskin is too tight

Worried about your penis’s protective puffa jacket? Here’s a simple test to see if your foreskin is too cosy for comfort. “You should be able to slide your foreskin over the head of your penis without it being uncomfortable,” says Dr Ranj. “If it’s too tight to do that, you can’t pull it back afterwards, and/or you have problems weeing, then you need to get it checked.”

OMFG! I’ve snapped my banjo string. Am I going to die?

Don’t worry, this is a common one. Your frenulum – the bit of skin that attaches your foreskin to your penis – is vulnerable to tearing, usually after an over-zealous shagging session. A ripped frenulum, or ‘banjo string’ can result in a fair amount of blood and discomfort. Don’t panic, but do visit your GP to make sure it’s healing OK. You should probably steer clear of sex until it’s healed.

Circumcision. To snip or not to snip – what’s normal?

“There are only a few specific medical reasons to get circumcised,” says Dr Ranj. “That said, if you are circumcised, it doesn’t increase your risk of any health problems, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Circumcision is largely a cultural thing, so what’s normal varies. In the UK, for example, it’s not that common. But in America, most men have had the snip. The only slight downside of a snipped sausage is that, without the foreskin’s protection, your bellend may be a tad less sensitive. But as long as you don’t feel your sex life is lacking, then it’s no problem at all.

My penis smells. Should it? It smells baaaad

Penises all have their own distinct odour and they don’t all smell like Lynx Africa. But there’s a difference between a natural scent – which most girls actually find a turn-on – and a gag-inducing whiff.

To ensure you stay in the natural scent category, make sure you wash. Simple, but true.

“Teenage boys are notorious for not having the best hygiene,” says Dr Ranj. “It’s normal for penises to collect secretions and have smegma build-up. Clean under the foreskin every time you shower and this should keep things smelling fresh.”

If your penis smells fishy, or just plain upsetting, AND you’re cleaning it regularly, then it’s worth going to the doctors. You may have a sexual, or non-sexual infection.

My testicles look funny. Are my balls OK?

Your testicles will change a lot in size and shape during puberty. And they won’t calm down until you’re in your 20s. Even then, you’ll notice they still change on their own accord depending on how hot/cold/stressed you are. And if you’re shocked, they actually jump back into your body – like ninjas. Yes, you have ninja testicles.

However, if one ball has got a lot bigger and is dramatically different in size, then it’s GP check-up time. You may have a collection of fluid that needs draining.

My balls hurt. What should I do?

If you’ve been whacked in the groin then, yes, your balls will burn with the fire of a thousand vengeance demons.

But if they hurt of their own accord, go seek help. You may have a cyst, or an engorged vein. If they’re horrifically painful, GO TO HOSPITAL STRAIGHT AWAY because you could have a twisted testicle.

“If you have a horrendous pain in a testicle you need to go hospital immediately,” says Dr Ranj. “If it’s higher, swollen, discoloured and painful to touch, get help within six hours or your testicle can actually die. Don’t sit at home and wait for it to go.”

Do I really have to show the GP my penis?

The thought of whacking out Mr Happy on a GP’s table is usually scary enough for your penis to retreat so severely it becomes a vagina. But, remember for them, it’s just a day job and you’ll feel so much better afterwards.

“I really have seen it all,” says Dr Ranj. “Nothing shocks me. Nothing surprises me. You’ll get no judgement. And you’ll probably find you’re worrying unnecessarily.”

Photo of boy looking in his pants by Shutterstock

Next Steps

  • Visit Madly in Love to discuss mental health and relationships, share stories and get support and advice.
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By Holly Bourne

Updated on 07-Aug-2014

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