During an interview with BBC Afrique, Professor Kimassoum Rimtebaye, head of the urology service at the general national reference hospital in Ndjamena and head of the surgery department at the faculty of human health sciences at the University of Ndjamena, answered several questions about the penis, which many would like to ask but may not have dared to do.

What is the normal size of a penis?

The penis is an organ which grow during the entire period of human growth.

And so there is no standard penis size.

Now we will take the example of an adult who is over 20 years old whose growth has now stopped.

Generally the penis of this adult varies in length between 6 to 10 cm when this penis is not erect.

Because when it’s erect, its size increases further and the coefficient of expansion during erection is not unequivocal in all men.

There are those who, when erect, will increase their penis by only two centimeters, there are those who can increase their penis by 6 cm, 8 cm or even double the size.

Are there any drugs or medical treatments to enlarge the penis?

Yes there are drugs or medical treatment to enlarge the penis.

But these treatments are when we realize that the child, in relation to his age, has a penis that is too small. And it is especially during the period of growth because if you have already reached the limit of your growth we will not be able to make your penis grow. And these are treatments that are based on hormones because in the assessment of these children who have a small penis, we realize that the hormonal impregnation is not done normally.

So you have to give them a series of injections. After 5 sets of injections, you will reassess the size of this penis. If you find that the height obtained is normal for a child of his age, you stop because these drugs can also have complications on the growth of other organs such as bone growth and the like.

So yes we can treat that but stay within the limits of the development of the penis for the age of the child.

Can we increase the sexual performance of the penis?

Often these are people who come to tell us that they have difficulty developing a normal erection to allow them to have a normal sexual act. We have to help these people.

We have to take stock to find out where the problem is, where the deficit is and target this deficit to deal with it. Because if we don’t do that, we can give medication that will have very serious consequences for that person.

I take the example of a person who has a heart problem. We now know that there is a drug called viagra, that we can give to a patient who has problems with sexual weakness that will allow him to have erections.

But if that person has an underlying heart problem that is unrecognised, and he takes this drug, he could go into cardiac arrest.

If you test a 50 years old man. He will develop good erections.

But you have to do a workup to find out if he doesn’t have a developing prostate, or if he doesn’t have prostate cancer which is unrecognized.

And if you don’t do that check-up, and you don’t know that status, and you give him testicular hormone drugs, you’re going to make his prostate blaze up, you’re going to make his prostate cancer blaze again.

So by wanting to have an erection, you are going to have complications that are more dangerous. Because if he can’t pass urine because the prostate has blocked his urine, he will eventually develop kidney failure.

So yes for sexual performance, but also to a limit.

If it’s having performances only to impress your partner, or people want you to give them a lot of medicine to go and have sex on the same night maybe more than 5 times, that too is dangerous and if he continues to take viagra he will go into cardiac arrest.

It’s important to note that when you have a normal sexual intercourse, until ejaculation, it is the equivalent of an effort of 16 kilometers on foot.

Does circumcision have a medical interest?

Circumcision decreases the risk of sexually transmitted infection, but it does not eliminate the risk.

Nowadays too, we also know that it protects against cancer of the penis. You see in places where circumcision is done during childhood, there is less cancer of the penis.

Now, what is the point of keeping the foreskin so not to do the circumcision? This skin, we have a disease of the penis called the stricture of the urethra. When it is narrowed you have difficulty urinating and all the narrowed part must be operated on and removed.

When you remove it, you have to find another material to replace it. And the most suitable material, the most suitable is this foreskin. So you will see that today, in Europe, almost 80% of Europeans are not circumcised. But what does that mean, they know how to clean the local area, they pull off well, they clean well so it’s as if it was circumcised too.

They keep their foreskin which will be able to serve them tomorrow if ever they are victims of a stricture of the urethra.

Does the penile fracture exist? What are the causes ? The treatment ?

Yes it exists. The elements that will allow you to realize that you have had a fracture: cracking that we hear in our ear, deformity, loss of erection and pain.

The penis then grows because the blood has come out under the skin.

When you have these elements quickly go to the hospital and see a urological surgeon. We must operate. The operation will consist in squeezing out all that is blood clot and where it has cracked, fractured, you have to suture with non-absorbable thread and you will heal your fractured penis.

If you do not have the operation, you are not going to die, but the blood clot that is there will start to harden, will deform your penis which will be hard and the erection will no longer be able to develop normally and therefore you will not you may not be able to have sex in the future, and your organ will simply be used for urinating.

With BBC Afrique, translated by Mensah Agbenou for AfrikPage

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Prof Kimassoum Rimtebaye