Scientists have finally provided a definition of whether erections can be deemed "growers" or "showers", and found several differences between these penis types.
If you're wondering why right about now, there is actually a noble cause. They hope it might help with making surgical decisions.
“It is important to be able to predict if a patient is a grower or a shower as when we see them, they are usually in a flaccid state,” Dr Manuel Alonso-Isa of the University Hospital HM Puerta del Sur in Madrid explained. “If they grow a lot when they get an erection, it might mean they need a different surgical approach compared to someone who doesn’t grow much.”
Presenting their findings, “A morphometric analysis of the penis before and after prostaglandin injection: Is shower and grower even a thing?”, at the European Association of Urology Congress in Milan this weekend, urologists led by Alonso-Isa used ultrasound to scan the penises of 225 men, once while flaccid and once while erect. The data and growth measurements collected fell into a standard distribution curve, allowing the team to set definitions on when a penis was a "grower", a "shower", or fit into the "grey zone" in between.
The team defined a "grower" as someone whose penis grew by more than 56 percent when going from flaccid to erect, while the penises of "showers" grew less than 31 percent. Twenty-four percent of the men were classed as growers, and 25 percent as showers, with the other 51 percent fitting somewhere in between.
There were differences in terms of penis shape found between the growers and showers. Showers tended to have longer flaccid penises, an average of 11.3 centimeters (4.45 inches) compared to the overall average of 8.8 centimeters (3.5 inches). In growers, they found that the tunica albuginea – the fibrous tissue that surrounds spongy tissue containing blood vessels that fill with blood during an erection – was thinner when they were erect.
“This makes sense as the tissue is being stretched further,” Dr Alonso-Isa said. “So it could be that this tissue has more elastic fibres in men who are growers than those who are showers. But we need to do more research to prove this hypothesis."
The team found no correlation between grower, shower, and "grey zone" penises and age, weight, smoking status, or other co-morbidities.
A similar study in 2018 found that the median change in penis length from flaccid to erect was 4 centimeters (1.57 inches), with growers growing around 5.3 centimeters (2 inches). They too found no correlation between penis type and co-morbidities and erectile function. That team found that growers were younger on average and had a larger erect phallus, about 15.5 centimeters (6.1 inches) compared to the average of 13.1 centimeters (5.1 inches). However, the study looked at scans that had already been taken from patients with erectile dysfunction, so other factors could be at play.
Ultimately, it's not known if the types of growth matter all that much, given that it doesn't appear to be correlated with any other conditions or penis dysfunction. Like with penis size, it's probably something you don't need to care about that much.