Size does matter more than a lot of men would like to admit.
A new study found that men with smaller penises are more likely than their average counterparts to be infertile, the Daily Mail noted. The study, which followed 815 men who went to a sexual health clinic over a span of three years, found that men who tended to have fertility problems were also those with penises around a third of an inch shorter when erect.
According to the study, men who were infertile had an average penis length of 4.92 inches while those who were fertile had an average penis length of 5.27 inches. Though those numbers are close, researchers said it pointed to a clear correlation between penis size and fertility.
“It may not be a striking difference but there was a clear statistical significance,” noted Dr. Austen Slade of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, the principal researcher of the study. “It remains to be determined if there are different penile length cut-offs that would predict more severe infertility.”
This is not the first study to link fertility with penis size. A 2011 study found that the length from the anus to underneath the scrotum, called the anogenital distance (AGD), has a strong correlation to infertility.
As a report from Time noted, the median AGD is about 2 inches, and men with a shorter distance are seven times more likely to have fertility problems than men with a longer ADG. These men had sperm counts in lower ranges that would make them half as likely to succeed in getting a partner pregnant, the report added.
“Fertility testing is nothing if not invasive, but the research, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, means that the latest tool in the fertility arsenal might soon be a lowly tape measure,” the Time report noted. “AGD is associated with semen volume and sperm count,” according to study author Shanna Swan, a reproductive epidemiologist and professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester.
Not everyone has agreed with the findings, the report noted. Some said the findings were premature and even the primary researchers acknowledged that there more research was needed before they could definitively link penis size to infertility problems. Others have cautioned that it may be alarmist to portray a correlation when more research is still needed, and that it is “alarmist” to tell men that penis size is so important.