The micropenis is a male member that is less than three inches in length when erect. This is an underdevelopment of the sexual organ, which can be treated well in early childhood through the administration of male sex hormones.
What is a micropenis?
A micropenis, also called a microphallus, is a particularly small penis. Micropenis is a subset of hypogenitalism, the main symptom of which is underdeveloped sexual organs. Not every small penis is a micropenis. Generally speaking, a microphallus is present when an adult male’s penis is less than three inches long when erect. During development, a sexual development disorder is often difficult to identify objectively. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Micropenis.
Doctors usually manage by comparing them with their peers. The penis length is measured from the back of the penis to the tip. Although many men feel that they have a penis that is too small, this is usually not the case. The exact incidence of this disorder is not known, but is believed to be less than two percent. When diagnosing a micropenis, the ethnic background of the affected person must be considered, as there are differences.
There are many different causes of a micropenis. Sometimes it is not possible to determine the cause within the framework of the diagnosis; then one speaks of an idiopathic microphallus. A common form of this developmental disorder of the sex organs is the so-called hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. This disease causes the hypothalamus or pituitary gland to not produce enough sex hormones.
In the case of androgen resistance, there is a sufficient amount of sex hormones in the body. However, the cells on which the hormones act are partially or completely resistant to their effects. If too little testosterone is produced in the testicles, a micropenis can develop. The most common cause is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism; almost half of all those affected suffer from it. There is also an increased risk of developing a micropenis when male babies experience androgen deficiency during development in the womb.
Another possible cause is a lack of growth hormone. In these cases, not only the penis but also the body size is affected. In addition to the causes of a microphallus mentioned above, there are also a wide variety of genetic diseases that have a micropenis as a symptom. These hereditary disorders include Robinow syndrome and MORM syndrome.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The main physical symptom of micropenis is the presence of a very small penis in boys and men. The ability to erect and ejaculate is basically not affected by this disorder. Those affected in adolescence often suffer greatly from the psychological consequences. They feel shame and isolate themselves from their peers. Self-esteem issues make it difficult to interact with the opposite sex.
Men with a micropenis can develop mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders. However, even with a micropenis, a fulfilling sex life is possible for both partners. This requires certain adjustments to position and method. The fertility of a man with a micropenis is not restricted.
Diagnosis & disease progression
The diagnosis of a micropenis is usually made shortly after birth or prenatally. Before birth, a microphallus can be diagnosed by an ultrasound scan. In most cases, the underdevelopment of the sexual organ is not noticed until after birth. Before diagnosing a micropenis, the treating specialist must consider other possible disorders.
Since various genetic diseases are associated with underdevelopment of the male genital organs, a geneticist is often consulted for diagnosis. Basically, the real micropenis must be distinguished from the pseudo-micropenis. The pseudo-micropenis looks very small at first glance, but on closer inspection it turns out to be of normal length. This is the case, for example, if the limb lies under a layer of fat.
In obese men, a “buried penis” sometimes leads to a misconception of a microphallus. In rare cases, a greatly enlarged clitoris is mistaken for a micropenis. The examination is carried out by a pediatrician and includes visual inspection and palpation of the penis. Because a hormonal imbalance can be to blame for the disorder, an endocrinologist is often consulted for diagnosis. The further course depends on the chosen therapy.
As a rule, the micropenis does not result in any particular health restrictions for the patient. The complaint itself is not a dangerous symptom and therefore does not need to be treated or examined by a doctor. However, most of those affected suffer from psychological problems and depression as a result of the micropenis. Feelings of shame or inferiority complexes are not uncommon.
A reduced self-esteem can also set in and significantly impair the quality of life. Especially in children, the symptoms can lead to teasing or bullying. They may develop anxiety disorders or aggressive behavior. Furthermore, the sexual intercourse of those affected is significantly restricted, so that there are complaints with the partner.
However, a micropenis does not lead to infertility and also has no negative impact on the potency or erection of the man. As a rule, a micropenis can be treated relatively well with the help of hormones. There are no further complications. In some cases, however, psychological treatment is also necessary if psychological problems occur. The micropenis does not affect the life expectancy of the patient.
When should you go to the doctor?
In many cases, the diagnosis is made by the pediatrician during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Should parents nevertheless suspect that their infant or toddler has a micropenis, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician or a specialist. If the micropenis is only detected in childhood or adolescence, it is important to act as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the greater the chances of successful treatment. In the case of a micropenis, hormone therapies are usually used.
It is important to start with these when puberty begins in childhood. In this phase, the chances of a largely complete recovery and normal further development are highest. If the affected men have already reached adulthood, it is usually too late for hormonal treatment and they have to undergo complex surgical procedures. The chances of success of these operations are much lower than those of hormone therapies. Therefore, if you are unsure or suspect a micropenis, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Treatment & Therapy
When diagnosed early, hormone therapy is extremely promising and is the treatment of choice in the majority of cases. In this therapy, the child is administered male sex hormones such as testosterone. Good results have been demonstrated in various studies. Those affected who had undergone hormone therapy to treat their micropenis often showed normal development of the sexual organ.
Although the penis was still rather small in adulthood, the length was mostly within the norm. In exceptional cases, treatment is carried out by means of a gender-correcting surgical procedure. A phalloplasty is performed, in which a larger penis is created from the existing tissue. However, this measure is associated with many risks. Studies have not been able to prove that those affected were happier with their genitals after the procedure. For this reason, hormonal therapy should be preferred to surgery whenever possible.
A somewhat unconventional measure is the use of stretching machines, which affected men have to use for several hours a day for several months. With this procedure, an enlargement of about two centimeters can be achieved. In addition to physical treatment, psychotherapy or behavioral therapy is recommended for older sufferers. The therapy serves to develop a positive body image and to strengthen self-confidence.
Outlook & Forecast
Due to the fact that a micropenis is caused by a developmental disorder of the male sex organ, there is no chance of spontaneous improvement. The hormonal therapy options only have a chance of success if they start before puberty. Otherwise, the development of the sex organ is complete and cannot be corrected hormonally afterwards.
Surgical procedures have a very good prognosis in terms of healing of any scars and injuries. Complications from surgery for a micropenis are rare. However, the subjectively perceived success of the operation is very dependent on the person concerned. In most cases, however, the surgical procedures can bring about an improvement in self-esteem and greater satisfaction with one’s own member.
The further prognosis for a micropenis also depends very much on the affected man. In some cases, the optical and sexual limitations are a lifelong problem that is counteracted with therapies, among other things. The reduced self-esteem and the subjective feeling of not being manly enough can also promote serious psychological problems. Depression and the like occur in this context.
On the other hand, there are all those men with a micropenis who have come to terms with their condition and lead ordinary lives. Important factors here are general satisfaction, a fulfilled partnership and one’s own resilience.
A micropenis cannot be prevented with targeted measures, as it is a complex developmental disorder of the sex organs. In general, if a disorder is suspected, it is advisable to consult a specialist as early as infancy. The best time to diagnose is immediately after birth. In this way, therapy can be started as early as possible.
In most cases, there are no special or serious complications associated with a micropenis, so that the affected person can lead an ordinary life despite the disease. Nevertheless, a doctor should be contacted so that the symptoms do not get worse. The disease itself can usually be treated relatively well, so that the life expectancy of those affected is not reduced.
In the case of a micropenis, they suffer from a very small penis. This leads to erectile dysfunction and thus also to very strong disturbances during sexual intercourse. In many cases, those affected also suffer from depression or other mental disorders, which can lead to bullying or even teasing, especially in children or adolescents.
As a rule, a micropenis also causes reduced self-esteem, which can have a negative effect on the quality of life of the person concerned. Most patients are afraid to tell other people about the disease and are ashamed of the disease. However, it can be alleviated relatively well by surgery.
You can do that yourself
Men with a micropenis cannot make any changes to their physical appearance on their own aside from medical care or cosmetic surgery. The physical traits can only be adjusted by enlisting a medic. The self-help here lies in building emotional strength and stability.
Self-confidence and self-esteem should be strong so that feelings of shame or inferiority do not arise. Talking to therapists or men who were also born with a micropenis is helpful. In addition, if available, the communicative exchange should take place with the partner. In many cases, the size of the penis is only an emotional problem for the person concerned, which can be clarified in a conversation. In the case of sexual activities, there is the possibility of jointly finding techniques of satisfaction in which the size of the penis does not play a central role.
A change in perspective and cognitive patterns is also helpful. The center of life and thus the general well-being or life satisfaction should not depend on the appearance of a genital. Once the focus is shifted to other areas, skills, and talents of the sufferer in which to gain fame and recognition, there is a chance that the micropenis will no longer be perceived as a burden.