Reproductive Anatomy - Guys

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Does size really matter? Many boys worry about the size and shape of their penis. Yet penises come in all shapes and sizes and all are very different.

What is a penis? The penis is made up of a shaft, the glans (head/helmet) and the prepuce (foreskin). When a boy is born he has an uncircumcised penis. This means his penis has a foreskin that covers the head (glans) of the penis. Sometimes the foreskin is removed for religious or cultural reasons, called circumcision.

Erections (hard-on or boner). Most boys start to experience erections when they reach puberty. They happen when you get sexually aroused, and extra blood flows to the penis, causing the penis to swell and grow large and hard.

���Blue Balls.�۝ You may have heard the term ���blue balls.�۝ This is used to describe an uncomfortable feeling in the testicles. This can happen if you get an erection but don�۪t actually ejaculate. The feeling doesn�۪t last long but it can cause discomfort.

Lump and Bumps. Most men will have a few bumps on their penis. Common bumps include sebaceous glands on the surface of the skin of the shaft. They are usually yellow in color and secrete an oily substance called sebum. Other bumps include pearly papules, which are small hard white bumps on the head of the penis. Your penis can also get the occasional spot and pimple which may cause some discomfort. All of these can be totally natural, but if you aren�۪t sure whether a bump or lump is normal or not, it�۪s always best to get it checked out by a health care provider. If you are sexually active, bumps or lumps could indicate that you have an STD, like herpes or genital warts. If you have any concerns about STDs contact your local health care provider immediately just to be on the safe side.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was adapted from PlannedParenthood.org, a website that provides education about reproductive and sexual health. 

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