Andrew Siegel MD 4/28/2017
Thank you, Pixabay, for image above
As Multi-Functional as a Swiss Army Knife
The penis is an extraordinary organ with urinary, sexual and reproductive functions. The possession of a penis endows man with the ability to stand to urinate and direct his urinary stream, a distinct advantage over the clumsy apparatus of the fairer sex that generates a spraying, poor-directed stream that demands sitting down on a toilet seat. The advantage of being able to stand to urinate (and keep one’s body appropriately distanced from the horrors of many public toilets) is priceless. Although man does not often have to employ this, the capability (when necessary) of urinating outside is another benefit of our design. Many find the outdoor voiding experience pleasing, observing the pleasant sounds and visuals of a forceful stream striking our target (often a tree) with finesse, creating rivulets and cascades to show for our efforts.
Getting beyond the urinary, the most dramatic penis magic is its ability to change its form in a matter of seconds, morphing into an erect “proud soldier” and enabling the wherewithal for vaginal penetration and with sufficient stimulation, for ejaculation. All that fun, but really serving the purpose of the passage of genetic material and ultimately the perpetuation of our species…reproductive wizardry!
“The water tap that could turn into a pillar of fire.”
Thank you, Pixabay, for images above
The Sometimes Cruel Process of Aging Does Not Spare the Penis
“Getting older is an honor and a privilege, but getting old is a burden.”
Beverly Radow (my aunt, who will turn 90-years-old this year)
Long after our reproductive years are over and fatherhood is no longer a consideration, most men still wish to be able to achieve a decent-enough erection to have sexual intercourse. As well, we still desire to be able to urinate standing upright with laser-like urinary stream precision.
However, the ravages of time (and poor lifestyle habits) can wreak havoc on penile anatomy and function. Many middle-aged men typically gain a few pounds a year, ultimately developing a bit of a pubic fat pad–the male equivalent of the female mons pubis– and before you know it the penis appears shorter and becomes an “innie” as opposed to an “outie.” In actuality, penile length is usually more-or-less preserved, with the penis merely hiding behind the fat pad, the “turtle effect.” Lose the fat and presto…the penis reappears. This is why having a plus-sized figure is not a good thing when it comes to size matters.
Useful Factoid: The Angry Inch…It is estimated that there is a one-inch loss in apparent penile length with every 35 lbs. of weight gain.
One of the problems with a shorter and more internal penis is that the forceful and precise urinary stream of yesteryear gives way to a spraying and dribbling-quality stream that can drip down one’s legs, spray over the floor and onto one’s feet (and even at times towards or on the gentleman next to you at the urinal!).
Almost Useless Factoid: Water Sports…Turkey vultures pee on themselves to deal with the heat of the summer on their dark feathers, since they lack sweat glands. By excreting on their legs, the birds use urine evaporation to cool themselves down in the process of “urohidrosis.” Unless you are a turkey vulture, peeing on yourself or others is rather undesirable!
The solution to having a recessed penis that is often hidden from sight and has lost its aiming capabilities is to sit on the toilet bowl to urinate, joining the leagues of our female companions who are “stream-challenged” because of their anatomy.
With aging (and poor lifestyle habits) also comes declining sexual function and activity as rigid erections going by the wayside. However, like any other body part, the penis needs to be used on a regular basis—the way nature intended—in order to maintain its health. In the absence of regular sexual activity, disuse atrophy (wasting away with a decline in anatomy and function) of the penile erectile tissues can occur, resulting in a de-conditioned and smaller penis that does not function like it used to.
Factoid: Disuse Atrophy…If one goes too long without an erection, collagen, smooth muscle, elastin and other erectile tissues may become compromised, resulting in a loss of penile length and girth and limiting one’s ability to achieve an erection. Conversely, sexual intercourse on a regular basis protects against ED issues and the risk of ED is inversely related to the frequency of intercourse.
The point I am trying to hammer home is that aging, weight gain and poor lifestyle habits often render men with penises that are:
- Shrunken and recessed
- Unreliable in terms of ability to pee straight, requiring sitting down on the toilet bowl like women
- Unreliable with respect to sexual function
Factoid: Point 1 + Point 2 + Point 3 = EMASCULATION (depriving man of his male role and identity)
What To Do?
The first step is to keep one’s body (and penis) as healthy as possible via intelligent lifestyle choices. These include the following: smart eating habits; maintaining a healthy weight; engaging in exercise (including pelvic floor muscle training); obtaining adequate sleep; consuming alcohol in moderation; avoiding tobacco; and stress reduction. The use of ED medications on a low-dose, daily basis can sometimes help all 3 issues.
In the event that the aforementioned means fail to correct the problem, a virtually sure-fire way of rectifying all three issues is by a simple surgical procedure. Malleable penile implants (penile rods) are surgically placed into each erectile chamber of the penis (the two inner tubes of the penis that under normal circumstances fill with blood to create an erection). The implants act as skeletal framework for the penis (“bones” of the penis). Two USA companies, Coloplast and AMS (American Medical Systems) manufacture the rods that are in current use. They are very similar with subtle differences.
Coloplast Genesis implant
American Medical Systems Spectra implant
The implant procedure of these two stiff-but-flexible rods into the erectile chambers of the penis is performed by a urologist on an outpatient basis. Like shoes, the penile rods come in a variety of lengths and widths and fundamental to the success of the procedure is to properly measuring the dimensions of the erectile chambers in order to obtain an ideal fit. The small incision needed to implant the rods is closed with sutures that dissolve on their own. Healing typically takes about 6 weeks, after which sexual relations can be initiated.
An erection suitable for penetration and sexual intercourse is available 24-7-365, simply by bending the penis up. The penis is angled down for concealment purposes. It is flexible enough to be comfortably flexed up or down, while rigid enough for intercourse, the best of all worlds.
Penile rods in action, bent down for concealment and up for urination and sex
Bottom Line: It is not uncommon for aging, weight gain and unhealthy lifestyle factors to conspire to compromise penile anatomy and function with respect to apparent penile size, urinary stream precision and erectile rigidity. This leaves one emasculated with a penis that is often concealed, shortened and habitually limp, impeding the ability to have sexual intercourse, as well as a spraying quality urinary stream necessitating sitting to urinate. If lifestyle improvement measures do not correct the situation, literally and figuratively “putting some lead in your pencil” using a simple malleable penile implant can “kill three birds with one stone.” (I could not resist the very mixed metaphor.) Confidence can be restored with the conversion of the “innie” penis to an “outie,” the ability to resume sexual intercourse and the reestablishment of a directed, non-spraying stream to permit standing to urinate.
Wishing you the best of health,
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Dr. Andrew Siegel is a practicing physician and urological surgeon board-certified in urology as well as in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Siegel serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor New York Metro Area, Inside Jersey Top Doctor and Inside Jersey Top Doctor for Women’s Health. His mission is to “bridge the gap” between the public and the medical community that is in such dire need of bridging.
Author of MALE PELVIC FITNESS: Optimizing Sexual & Urinary Health http://www.MalePelvicFitness.com
Author of THE KEGEL FIX: Recharging Female Pelvic, Sexual and Urinary Health http://www.TheKegelFix.com