Micro penises are, very often, a punchline.
The fact that we use men’s penises as jokes is a long and complicated article for another day where we question why the apparent most important thing that we base a man’s abilities on is in his pants.
But, because of the importance that society places on penises and more specifically the size of penises, the micro penis has long been mocked, regarded as an amusement rather than a medical condition that can cause the owner notable emotional difficulties.
Micro penises are rare – they occur in just 0.6% of men worldwide. But, when you take in to account how many people there are in the world, 0.6% is still a lot.
So, what do you need to know about micro penises?
How common are they?
Like we said, not very. 0.6% of men worldwide have micro penises.
How do they happen?
A micro penis usually results from development in the womb. There are a variety of conditions which can result in a micro penis, including inadequate pituitary stimulation or reduced prenatal androgen production.
It’s also been suggested that exposure to some estrogen based fertility drugs while a fetus is in the womb can cause malformation, a micro penis or just a smaller than average penis.
How is it diagnosed?
Sometimes it’s obvious from birth. If so, it can be treated in infancy with injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (a human growth hormone) and testosterone.
Sometimes boys are referred to the doctor with a suspected micro penis while in late childhood or early puberty, but in most cases it’s just that the penis has not developed fully yet.
How big are they?
The main question about a micro penis is where you draw the line between a small penis and a micro one. The official definition of a micro penis is a penis which is a maximum of 2.75 inches when fully erect.
Is there a treatment?
Surgeries have been attempted, but never with much success.
Hormonal treatment is more common. Injections in infancy are often prescribed and will promote growth though are unlikely to result in an adult with an average sized penis.
Penis growth, like height growth, is finite. Once it’s been achieved any more growth is almost impossible, so injections in adulthood are not helpful.
How does it affect your life?
Having a micro penis can make sex difficult, however some women report having extremely gratifying sexual experiences with men who have micro penises, as they are ‘less selfish.’ There is no medical reason (other than size) that a person with a micro penis shouldn’t have sex.
Micro penises often come with an emotional toll, eliciting feelings of shame and self loathing due to stigma, and can take a toll on a man’s confidence.
If you’re struggling with self esteem issues stemming from your body, please see your GP or contact Mind.