Men's Health

What's a Micropenis?

What's a Micropenis?

Key Takeaways

  • A micropenis is a penis that is smaller than an average human penis size. 
  • A micropenis disorder is diagnosed in the early childhood.
  • Men with the micropenis disorder cannot have sex the same way other men do.

A micropenis is a penis that is smaller than an average human penis size. It is smaller than 7 cm or 2.7 inches when erected or smaller than 4 cm or 1.5 inches when flaccid, which is actually two and a half times smaller than the average penis.

It affects about 0.6 percent of men, so it is a very rare occurrence. A micropenis disorder is diagnosed in the early childhood.

What causes micropenis?

It occurs when there is a problem in the secretion of testosterone in male babies inside the uterus. Insufficient amounts of testosterone during the second trimester and the third trimester of pregnancy can cause a micropenis disorder or if the baby is not responding very well to testosterone even though its levels are adequate.

The SRD5A2 gene or steroid 5 alpha-reductase 2 is included in processing androgens, which are responsible for the male sexual development and can cause a micropenis. Research has shown that micropenis among babies can be caused by chemicals in the environment like pesticides. A micropenis disorder can also cause the following problems:

A micropenis disorder can also cause the following problems:

1) Sexual experience 

Having a micropenis can affect a man's sexual experience. Men with the micropenis disorder cannot have sex the same way other men do. Some of them cannot perform at all, some are limited to only a couple of sex positions, and they are always afraid of the reaction of their partner because some people do not have the understanding for this kind of disorder. If the micropenis is too small, sometimes, a man cannot even masturbate.

2) Urination

Micropenis can also cause problems when it comes to urination. Because the penis is small, men with a micropenis will have a difficulty in urinating while standing. 

3) Low sperm count

Some men affected by the micropenis disorder can have a low sperm count, which can result in reduced or decreased fertility or even infertility.

4) Psychological problems

Micropenis can cause psychological problems. Men with a micropenis usually suffer from low self-esteem and depression, which can, in worst cases, lead to suicide.

If a micropenis disorder is noticed at an early age, it is possible to enlarge the size of the penis using testosterone injections. However, treatments with testosterone injections are useless after the period of adolescence. Sometimes, adolescent males tend to give themselves the diagnosis of a micropenis disorder. However, they are usually wrong and do not have such condition. Their wrong diagnosis is usually explained with the following reasons:

  • Concealed penis – penis that is hidden because it is surrounded by a lot of fat in the pubic area.
  • Large body – because of having a huge body, the penis appears small.
  • Late puberty – a temporary condition, wherein the penis is expected to grow more.

5) Phimosis (tight foreskin)

There is also a condition where the foreskin of the penis cannot be pulled back past the glans. This condition is called as "phimosis". It can cause additional problems such as a swollen penis during urination or pain during an erection. It is normal that the foreskin cannot be pulled back at an early age. The condition disappears until boys reach the age of 7 years old and are usually completely gone until the age of 16.

It is not recommended for boys to force their foreskin to go back. Applying steroid creams with stretching exercises can help improve the condition. If that doesn’t help, a circumcision can help resolve the problem.

Penis enlargement

As far as the surgery of penis enlargement goes, it usually doesn’t give the results men expect, and it doesn’t solve the psychological and other problems it causes. Men who have a micropenis usually blame their micropenis disorder for their life problems. It can lead to anxiety in relationships, depression, and low self-esteem. Every man and woman have a natural desire to enjoy sex, and men relate their sex life to their penis. The size of the penis is an extremely sensitive subject among the male population because they associate their manhood with their penis. If there is something wrong, like in the case of having a micropenis, men can develop a serious mental illness such as depression. Modern medicine can help improve such condition, but men usually need to go through psychotherapy to accept themselves as they are. 

Men with a micropenis disorder can have sex just like anybody else, but with little adjustments, unless the micropenis is totally invisible. If there is something to work with, there are some sex positions that are good for both partners. However, both partners should investigate and explore what they like because a good relationship is all about finding the solutions together. But men with micropenis have another problem during sex – the condom problem. 

But men with a micropenis have another problem during sex--the condom problem. Most condoms, even those extra small sizes, are too big for the micropenis. Hence, there can be a leakage of seminal fluid. Depending on the size of the micropenis, there can be some manufactured condoms that are suitable for your size. But if the penis is just too small, maybe you should consider another method of contraception. There is no reason not to try something new.

Micropenis treatment

In history, this condition was regarded as gender inversion, wherein boys would be raised as girls. There was one case, where a son, one of the twins, was raised as a girl by his parents. However, the experiment did not succeed because the inversion, as it turned out, was a bad idea. The reason is that the boy, who was raised as a girl, was unhappy with his parents' decision and decided to reverse back and became a boy again after he found out the truth. Unfortunately, later on, he committed suicide.

Nowadays, a lot of people consider this kind of parenting as a form of child abuse because it is wrong to change a kid’s gender just because of his small penis. Moreover, they are recommending a testosterone replacement therapy, which can increase the penis to a normal length. Surgery could be done, but could also become more complicated. The surgery is called as "phalloplasty", which uses a man’s forearm skin to wrap the penis. To provide an erection, surgeons insert an inflatable penile prosthesis.

Micropenis surgery

Testosterone therapy rarely gives the results most men desire. Moreover, the penis does not reach the average size, so men with a micropenis disorder usually go under the knife. 

Penis enlargement is used to increase the length or girth of the penis. Even though men who undergo these treatments have high expectations, they often end up disappointed. Some techniques are obviously a scam, but some can provide noticeable results.

Other options

There are several options to try before the actual surgery such as pills and supplements. However, they are usually ineffective when it comes to penis enlargement.

You can also try physical techniques by increasing the blood flow to the penis or using a penis pump, which creates a vacuum around the penis. It can temporarily help but does really not solve the problem. Weights can also be used. They can be attached to the penis as magnetic and electric devices. 

When it comes to surgical penile lengthening, surgery is performed by cutting the suspensory ligament and then providing the skin, usually from the forearm, to cover the length. Overall, there is a possibility of increasing the penis by 1.5-2.0 cm or 0.6-0.8 inches. However, the results are different.

Men reported that a flaccid penis is a little longer, but when erect, it is the same size and not pointing forward, maybe because the suspensory ligament is cut, which supports the penis to point forward. When it is cut, there will be no support. 

Increasing penile thickness can be combined with lengthening, but can be performed on its own. This surgery can be performed in two ways. First is the injection of fat into the dartos or placing a layer of tissue taken from the surface of the skin, which is well supplied with blood vessels and fat. Results from this surgery are also disappointing because almost all of the injected fat disappear after a year with no known effects of placing the skin tissue.

Aside from undesirable results, there are also known complications such as an empty skin after the procedure because the skin dies due to poor blood supply. Nodes also appear because the injected fat does not disappear equally. There is also a loss of girth because of fat reabsorption or the visual difference where the penis looks like it is rising from the scrotum.

Thus, although men with a micropenis disorder can have some benefits from these surgeries, there is also a risk of complications. It is not recommended for men with average size penises to undergo such surgeries because of complications. It is better to work on accepting themselves as they are.