A study has raised new questions about how the size of a male penis affects fertility.
Published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, the research was led by Dr Austen Slade from the University of Utah. In the study, the penises of 815 men aged 18 to 59 were measured between 2014 and 2017. The results tentatively suggested penis length was linked to fertility.
Those with a length averaging about 12.5 centimeters (4.9 inches) were found to have more difficulties conceiving than those at 13.4 centimeters (5.3 inches), reported Healthline. It was suggested that congenital or genetic factors could play in role in fertility, although the exact cause of the link isn’t clear.
"It may not be a striking difference but there was a clear statistical significance," said Dr Austen. "It remains to be determined if there are different penile length cut-offs that would predict more severe infertility.”
But Healthline also pointed out some limitations with the study. Notably, it was not peer-reviewed, but instead presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Denver.
And Sheena Lewis, an expert in reproduction from Queen’s University Belfast, said the findings were “not really clinically usable” yet, highlighting that it wasn’t clear from the study what a normal penis length was.
“One thing that scares men is that size matters,” she said, reported The Huffington Post. “To now say they have a smaller chance of becoming a father is not a good message.”
So it’s safe to say we can’t really draw many conclusions from this research at the moment without more findings or peer-reviewed data. And the science of male penis size remains somewhat uncertain to say the least.
A study back in 2016 attempted to map average penis sizes around the world, but it achieved very different results to a previous study in 2015. Other research in 2016 found that men tended to lie about their penis size anyway, making studies into this area particularly tricky.
So while this latest study could be some cause for concern, there’s no need to be worried just yet depending on which camp you fall into.
“For now, men with shorter penises don’t need to worry about fertility,” said Dr Slade.