Doctors blame the number of Italian men wanting penis enlargement on 'changing-room syndrome' (Reuters)
Doctors blame the number of Italian men wanting penis enlargement on \'changing-room syndrome\' (Reuters)

The number of Italian men seeking penis enlargement surgery is rising at a rate of 25% a year, according to one of the country's top surgeons.

Despite their Lothario reputation around the world, it seems Italian men are succumbing to "changing-room syndrome" and are seeking surgical assistant in the trouser department.

One of Italy's top clinics which specialises in penis enlargement has claimed that the number of men opting for penis enlargement surgery was on the rise.

Dr Alessandro Littara, director of the Centre for Sexual Medicine in Milan, told the Independent: "The demand for these operations is growing constantly.

"In the past year alone, we did 300 operations on men. It's usually to make the penis thicker, but there are quite a few who want it longer and sometimes both."

Littara added that the average age of the men wanting surgery is between 30 and 50. He believed that was the age group more likely to afford the £2,500-£6,000 (€2,500-€7000) cost of the operation.

The demand was driven by pressure to keep up with their male peers rather than for their partner.

"I call it changing-room syndrome," said Littara. "With everyone seeing images of the body the whole time these days, men are more aware and worried about their bodies - all the parts are important, and the genitals are no exception.

"We're living in the age of images, with sexual ones very often on the front page," he told Adnkronos news agency. "So sex gets more attention and people feel the need to be competitive."

The idea that Italian men are not as confident below the waistline as previously thought may come as a surprise, given the much publicised sexual antics of national figures such as Rudolph Valentino and former leaders Silvio Berlusconi and Benito Mussolini.

According to figures by the Ulster University academic on international penis size, Italian men have the biggest penises in Europe, with an average length of 6.2 inches. Congo topped the list worldwide, with its men boasting an average of 7.1 inches.