Off The Record – Am I Normal…?

Patients ask what’s normal and what’s not normal with their anatomy, developing conditions, and bodily functions.

I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist or therapist and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I’ll tell you, a large component of my job as your urologist is a combination of:

Detective work – asking the right questions to get the real story out of you (No sir, the toilet seat did not fall on your penis. Try again.)

Cowboy work – corralling you and the details you want to tell me that I don’t need to know (I promise a future post dedicated to anonymous jaw-dropping yes, that actually happened stories)

Counselor work – yes, that’s normal. Yes, that’s normal, too. Yep, even that. OK, maybe that’s not normal for everyone, but it’s normal for you

If I’ve heard it before, then you’ve probably wondered about it, so let’s just get some of your burning questions answered, shall we?

Is my penis normal if…?

I’m not going to talk to you about length or girth. Your penis is long enough and wide enough, and yes, there is a medical condition called micropenis. This condition is diagnosed at birth – it applies to babies – and is treated and resolved in this age group.

There is certainly street language for micropenis as applied to adults, but it doesn’t actually medically exist in adulthood.

And while not a medical term, there is a book that will teach you everything you never wanted to know about the opposite: ‘How to Live with a Huge Penis.’ My parents gave me this for Christmas one year. This paradoxically small book includes chapters on ‘Unzipping: Coming Out to Your Family and Friends’ and ‘Your Daily Affirmation Journal’ where you promise you won’t harm your penis, you remind yourself of other huge things G-d made, etc.

Huge Penis
I recommend this book for office white elephant gift exchanges and for stiff in-laws. I get no kickbacks for this product, I do not know the authors, but now that I am writing this…maybe I should make a deal with them. They probably need me.

And sometimes, too much is, well, too much. Ouch.

Beyond the length and girth conversation made unfortunately obsessive by pop culture, any penis can pleasure its partner if its owner knows how to use it. And sometimes, too much is, well, too much. Ouch. End debate.

Is my penis normal if…? Maybe not

Unfortunately, despite how much you love your third leg, there are some things that can be abnormal with your penis. Penises come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. If you have spent significant time au naturale and you’ve developed sun spots, have a urologist or dermatologist check them out at some point. You can get skin cancer on your beloved shaft.

Besides infections and sexually transmitted diseases – make sure you look for moles/brown spots/curves/plaques or changes in general. Your penis should be smooth and straight with an erection.

Maybe Apple should work on that type of recognition software next, especially if they can’t figure out the face mask thing

You may have some skin discoloration, but make sure to have it checked at least once. Don’t be shy. Get it looked at and I don’t mean dick pics. Seriously, your doctor doesn’t want one. I don’t want dick pics. Stop sending them. At this point, I’ve literally seen more penises than I can remember. Yours isn’t going to impress or shock me. Although sometimes, I recognize the penis before I recognize the face. Maybe Apple should work on that type of recognition software next, especially if they can’t figure out the face mask thing.

Are my testicles normal if…?

Besides your penis being smooth and straight, check the boys too, please. Check the twins, everyone wins. That’s my tag line for teaching medical students. Lumps and bumps need to be checked out by an MD. Some lumps and bumps are normal, but you probably don’t know which ones are.

The sad stories are the lumps that were ignored and were cancer. When you ignore them too long – eventually it’s everywhere (I’ve seen it – as recently as last week). Don’t be that guy. OK lets reel it back in – speaking of your favorite twins…let’s talk about when they misbehave.

It’s embarrassing but…

My balls hurt. OK, I don’t have balls. I’m considering getting a cartoon depiction of the male genitalia tattooed on my body somewhere so I can empathize better. Look, I have one too! So far, my poll of asking random people ‘should I get this penis and balls cartoon tattoo or not,’ is a draw.

Sometimes, your balls hurt. Sometimes one hurts. This is one of the most common conditions seen in the urology clinic and one of the most frustrating because most of the time, we have no idea why your balls hurt.

Sometimes, there’s a hernia. That’s nice because we can send you to general surgery and they can fix your hernia and that surgery hurts – so you forget about what started you down this road because now you have new, real pain to worry about.

Usually, ball pain goes away with time. This is hard for you men. You aren’t very patient. I know, I’m stereotyping all of you into one. And I don’t have balls nor a tattoo of balls and have never had ball pain. Please forgive me. But if you trust me, and try it, most of you will never come back to see me in this virtual ball pain blog again. Why? Because your pain will go away.

For the few of you who do this and it doesn’t help, you have other options. In fact, there is literally a ball pain specialist in Winter Garden, Florida and G-d bless him this is what he does. Don’t see him first. Try the remedy below. Then see your local urologist. Then, if you must, Google ball pain MD in Florida. Most of you will find with these three steps and a LOT of patience your pain will go away. I do understand that 3-months is a lifetime of patience for the Y chromosome.

Here’s my Rx:

  1. 3-6 months of scrotal support. Yep, pull on a pair of tighty-whities, tuck a pillow under your scrotum when you’re sitting down to elevate it, and fight gravity all the ways you can.
  2. Frozen peas when it’s bad. 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, wax on, wax off (no, don’t wax, unless your partner prefers smooth).
  3. Ibuprofen/Advil 400-800mg (you can take this medication every 6 hours max) I recommend you take Advil every 8 hours for 3-5 days in the beginning to treat the inflammation, then take it as needed, bump it up to around the clock for 3-day intervals when it strikes again. The thing about Advil is it is actually treating the inflammation, so take it in the beginning on a schedule to get ahead of the inflammation.

You all have your own stories of when your ball pain started. Your partner has his or her own story too. These are always hilarious to hear. It doesn’t matter. You didn’t hurt yourself masturbating. It isn’t her or his fault. It wasn’t the doggy-style position. But you might have gone too long between ejaculations and built-up inflammatory conditions which brings me to my last most frequent/awkward topic of today’s blog…

Is my masturbation normal when…?

Clean your pipes three times a week. When I put it like this, my patients immediately relax. Then they ask me to write it down and sign it like a prescription for their partners. If there’s science behind masturbation frequency, I haven’t found it, but there is happiness and health behind it. I have found anecdotally when your pipes (yes, I mean your ejaculatory ducts) are regularly flushed, your genitourinary system stays happier.

Keep the blood flowing to your penis. Get the old semen out and get the fresh semen in and the cycle repeats itself. How you clean your pipes is up to you. I know you all love to tell me how you do it, and here’s where I play cowboy and reel you back in and let you sort out your own pipes with your own plumber(s) and/or tool(s).

But seriously, take care of yourself, and your favorite bone in your body (no, there isn’t actually a bone in your penis). You can’t say happiness without saying penis, after all, so keep him, or her, or it, and yourself happy.

How About Some Rapid-Fire Q&A?

Does my penis really get shorter if I get fatter?

Yes and no. Your penis becomes ‘buried’ if your abdomen becomes larger. As the belly grows out, it pulls the penis in. Motivation for that couch to 5K you’ve been considering.

How often should I be going to the bathroom?

Every 2 hours! Men, you kill me here. Holding your pee in is not a trophy-winning activity. Keep your bladder healthy, and empty. If you’re peeing more than every 2 hours, talk to your Urologist. If you’re holding your bladder all day, make sure your bladder and kidneys are safe. Silently full bladders are the more dangerous ones and can cause irreversible kidney damage!

If I don’t drink during the day, I’ll pee less, right?

Don’t stop drinking! Dehydrated urine is IRRITATING to your bladder and makes you pee more than dilute urine! This should have been an episode of myth busters. Maybe it was. I never watched the show. The best thing you can drink for your bladder is water, but I know that isn’t feasible for everyone. At least hydrate yourself. Dehydrating yourself does not make you pee less – it does the opposite! Your bladder hates concentrated, acidic, stinky urine.

How often should I wake up at night to pee?

This is not an exact science, and it relates roughly to your age. Men in their 60s and 70s, you will most likely wake up once to pee, twice on some nights. If you are waking up 3-4 times, you should talk to a Urologist. Men younger than 60, you should wake up once or not at all.
Have I answered all your burning questions you never wanted to ask? If not, submit your questions below.

More importantly – should I get a cartoon penis tattoo?

What’s Off The Record?

Off The Record is a column about health, life, love, relationships, and sex. Our anonymous urologist will pick questions submitted by menMD patient members and provide some insights, in the most entertaining way. The answers are meant to be thought provoking, engaging, honest, and fun. You can view all Off The Record posts in the Off The Record section of our blog. Better yet, submit your own anonymous question to be answered Off The Record.

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