Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Micropenis

What is a micropenis  ?

Simply put, a micropenis is a very small penis. According to wikipedia,
"For adults, a micropenis is a penis with a dorsal (measured on top) erect penile length of that is at least 2.5 standard deviations smaller than the mean human penis size (12.5cm)."

This means that any adult man with an erect penis of 7 to 9 cm (3 inches) or less has a micropenis. Typically, the term is used when the rest of the penis, scrotum, and perineum are without ambiguity, like hypospadias, epispadias and other genital abnormalities. A 2002 study concluded that "the size of micropenis should vary according to ethnicity".

In most cases, the condition is recognized shortly after birth. All male newborns with a dorsal erect penile length of 2.0 cm should be evaluated for micropenis. Micropenis affects about 0.6% of males and is also known as microphallus.

Micropenis
A micropenis


What causes micropenis ?

Micropenis is usually caused by the male infant’s penis failing to increase in length during and after the first trimester of pregnancy. The exact mechanisms involved in this process still remain a mystery, but they are believed to be hormone-related. A study conducted in 2012 found that certain chemicals found in pesticides may increase the risk factor for the development of micropenis and other external genital malformations.

What problems does a Micropenis cause?

A micropenis can cause several problems to the patient, including difficulty urinating and having normal sexual intercourse. Sometimes fertility is also an issue, with many patients having a low sperm count which results in infertility or decreased fertility. The greatest problem is probably the major psychological impact caused to the patient. Men with a micropenis commonly report low self-esteem, difficulty talking to women and even depression.


Treatment of Micropenis

At present, there are three clinically proven methods to enlarge a micropenis.

Treatment options for adults with micropenis include:

For children with micropenis, the only available treatment is testosterone therapy.

In the past, some doctors advised parents of a boy born with a micropenis to have their child  sexually reassigned as a female. This was especially true for extreme micropenis cases. This practise has longed stopped as a 2001 study concluded that boys not "treated" with sex reassignment tend to be happier in their adult lives compared to boys raised as girls.


An erect micropenis
Erect Micropenis


Other treatments for micropenis

A 2011 study named "Penile Growth in Response to Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Treatment in Patients with Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism", concluded that injections containing Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone can stimulate penis growth in adults with micropenis.

" In conclusion, hCG treatment seemed to be effective in IHH, because it successfully increased the serum testosterone level and testicular volume and stimulated penile growth. Our data also imply that hCG treatment for patients with IHH presenting with micropenis results in a satisfactory gain in penile length."


References & Further Reading

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