Although it shouldn't matter, penis size is a common concern for lots of men of all ages.
The average penis size varies by country, but in the UK, the average length of a flaccid penis in the UK is 3.6 inches, according to King's College University researchers, along with the NHS.
The average length of an erect penis is 5.16 inches.
If the size of your penis is bothering you, it's worth asking yourself whether any lifestyle habits could be affecting its size.
Some studies suggest that both alcohol consumption and smoking cigarettes could directly affect the size of your manhood.
Most men are aware of how alcohol can affect their performance, but could it also affect the length over time?
“Males with alcohol dependence are also more likely to experience issues such as erectile dysfunction, unsatisfying orgasm, premature ejaculation, and loss of libido,” says Medical News Today.
Research has also found that alcohol is one of the most prevalent psychoactive substances and may result in distinct psychosocial and physical sexual experiences and different sexual risk behaviours.
For those concerned about how alcohol may affect your penis size, HSE warns: “High-risk drinking over a long time can cause a man’s testes and penis to shrink.”
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The health site added: “Drinking large amounts of alcohol can make it hard to get or keep an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction (ED).
“Alcohol interferes with the messengers in the brain that tell the penis to fill with blood.
“It can also happen because alcohol can reduce the production of testosterone.
“Testosterone is the hormone that controls male sexual functions.”
“Chemicals from cigarette smoking can injure the blood vessels in the penis, preventing the penis from filling with blood and stretching,” says Medical News Today.
The health site added: “Regardless of the stimuli and the effect on the brain, if the blood vessels are damaged, the penis will not achieve an erection.”
A study by Boston University of Medicine examined the erect penises of 200 men to investigate how smokers stack up.
Researchers found that the men who smoked measured up shorter than those who didn’t smoke.
Another study done in 1998 concluded that smoking inhibits blood flow to the penis which stops it from stretching and making it shrink.
Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said: "There may be people out there who don't care at all about the risk of getting cancer later on but might be really upset if they thought it was interfering with their sex life.
"The advantage of the penis from a communications point of view, is that it is easy to imagine it shrivelled up and shrunken, whereas damage to other vital organs such as the heart is much less obvious or easy to visualise."
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Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy added: “If men want to have a penis to be proud of, they should not smoke or drink copious amounts of alcohol.
“Smoking accelerates atherosclerosis – the deposition of fatty plaques in the arteries. These atheromatous deposits clog up the arteries and restrict arterial blood flow to the penis.
“Acute alcohol intoxication leads to dehydration, meaning there is a reduced blood volume, which is counterproductive to having a good erection.
“It’s never too late to change these habits, the sooner the better.”
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