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Curiosity Central

Male bodies: Learn about penis

The penis is the name of the male sexual and reproductive organ. In addition to passing urine from the body, the penis also has a role in reproduction. Let’s find out more about penises in this week’s Curocity Central. 

A person whose biological sex is male; is born with a penis at the time of birth. The presence of a penis or a vagina is how doctors declare a baby male or female. 

The penis grows in size as you grow older but most during puberty from the ages of 9 to 15 years. It is different for every individual however, by the end of puberty or when you turn an adult (18-19 years of age), a male penis would have reached its expected size. 

Penis shape and size

The erect (hard) penis of adult measures between 5 and 7 inches in length. When your penis is flaccid (soft), its size has little to do with its size when it is hard. The size of some penises increases a lot when they become hard while others stay almost similar. Read more about erection here

The penis comes in different shapes and sizes. Some may curve like a banana while others are straight. There is no particular correct size or shape for a penis. Read more about the size of the penis here. Everyone’s penis can be different and it’s all normal. 

Penis and its parts

  • Glans
    It is also called the head or tip of your penis, which also has an opening to the pee-hole or urethra. A sticky, clear liquid may come out of it when you are excited. 
  • Shaft
    The shaft, which looks like a tube, extends from the tip to the lower belly. 
  • Foreskin
    The foreskin is the skin that covers the head of the penis or glans.  When your penis gets hard, the foreskin pulls back, thus exposing the head. Sometimes foreskin is circumcised (surgically removed) soon after birth, so it is not present in everyone.  
  • Frenulum
    The frenulum looks like a small V just below the head. It is that part where your foreskin meets the underside of your penis.
  •  The urethral opening
    The hole from which your pee comes out. 
  • Scrotum
    There are chances you might have read or heard the phrase – ‘you got balls?’ The correct name for these ‘balls’ is the scrotum. It is a super sensitive sac of skin that hangs below your penis and holds your testicles. It is made of wrinkly skin and might have some hair on it. 

Scrotum also maintains the right temperature for your testes. In cold weather, the scrotum keeps the testicles closer to your body.  In hot, sticky weather your testicles hang away from your body.

Some people have a larger scrotum on one side than the other. It is the most sensitive part of your body and getting hit here can cause extreme discomfort and pain.

  • Anus
    The anus is the opening to your rectum, from where the excreta/body waste/poop comes out. It is also called the butthole. 

Penis hygiene tips 

Whether you’re circumcised or uncircumcised you should wash your penis every day.

If you’re uncircumcised, gently pull back your foreskin and use warm water to clean the head of your penis. You can use soap on the shaft of your penis, but it’s probably not a good idea to use soap to clean under your foreskin.

Soap can upset the natural balance of bacteria and actually make you more likely to get fungal infections. If you do choose to wash the head of your penis with soap, use a gentle one without strong perfumes.

It’s essential to wash away the white or yellowish sticky substance found under the foreskin. It is called smegma, which is made up of skin oil and shed skin cells. It’s perfectly natural, but it can build up under your foreskin and smell, irritate, and cause infection.

Do you have any questions that are bothering you? Share with us in the comments box below. Remember no rude words or personal information in the comment box! 

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