Men often attach a lot of significance to the size of their penis, considering its length as a testament to their masculinity. Even though there is no connection between the size of a penis and sexual performance, many worry about their penises being smaller than average. The term micropenis is often thrown about casually in that context. However, scientifically speaking, that’s usually wrong.
The average size of an erect adult male penis is 5.17 inches. The penis size of about 90% of men falls within the one-inch range of this average measurement. A micropenis, on other hand, is a real but rare medical condition characterised by an abnormally small phallus. This means if you’re an adult male with a penis length of 4.15 inches, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your anatomy.
So, what exactly qualifies as a micropenis, what causes it, and how can it be treated? Let’s find out:
What is a Micropenis?
In medical terms, a micropenis is defined as one that is ‘2.5 standard deviations’ shorter than the average length of a stretched penis in the same age bracket and sexual development levels. Another defining characteristic of a micropenis is that there are no accompanying other deformities. The testicles, as well as internal genitalia, of a person affected by this condition are typically normal and fully functional.
For instance, in the case of a newborn at full term, the average stretched length of the penis is 1.25 inches. So, a penile length of 0.98 inches or less in a newborn can be considered a micropenis. Likewise, given that the average penis size in adult males is 5.17 inches, a penile length of 3.66 inches or less is treated as a micropenis.
This is an extremely rare condition that affects merely 0.6 percent of men across the world.
Micropenis Vs buried penis
Given that the small size is one of the key indicators of a micropenis, it becomes hard to differentiate it from a buried penis without a proper medical diagnosis. However, in the case of the latter, the penis is normal in size but buried under the skin folds of the scrotum, thigh or even abdomen.
This condition can be caused due to birth abnormalities as well as developed later in life. In the case of a buried penis, the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and blood flow compromised, which can impede the ability to hold an erection.
Men with a micropenis usually don’t have any such limitations.
What causes a Micropenis?
The underlying causes for micropenis vary. Of these, hormonal issues are the most common. A foetal testosterone deficiency can hinder the development of the reproductive organs. One of the most recurrent triggers for this deficiency is a condition known as Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, where the hypothalamus (the part of the brain controlling the pituitary and autonomous nervous system) fails to secrete adequate testosterone needed for the development of reproductive organs.
The Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic condition that causes low muscle tone, incomplete sexual development, and chronic hunger, is also one of the identified causes of micropenis. As is Kallmann syndrome, which is a variant of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, characterised by delayed or absent puberty.
Similarly, Laurence-Moon syndrome, a genetic condition that leads to complex association of problems affecting the brain, eyes, ears, stomach, kidneys, and reproductive organs can also hinder the development of the penis in a foetus.
In addition to this, chromosomal abnormalities, as well as growth hormone deficiencies after birth, can be among the causes for abnormally small penis size. In some rare cases, the development of the penis can be affected due to an expecting mother being exposed to toxic chemicals or pesticides.
How does a Micropenis affect your life?
In a majority of cases, a micropenis does not have any bearing on a person’s ability to perform sexually. People with this condition can masturbate, orgasm and urinate normally. However, given the stereotype that associates the penile length with the ability to pleasure a partner in bed, men affected by this condition can suffer from anxiety and low self-esteem.
These psychological barriers can, in turn, affect sexual performance. In such cases, sex therapy or counselling can prove extremely beneficial in helping you lead a fulfilling sex life.
How is a Micropenis treated?
In most cases, this condition is diagnosed and treated in infancy. However, even if it goes undetected and untreated in childhood, micropenis can be corrected in adult males as well. This is often recommended in cases where the psychological impact of having a small penis affects a person’s self-esteem or mental health, or interferes with their ability to have a robust sex life. For this, there are two courses of medical intervention available:
Hormone Therapy: Your doctor may put you on testosterone treatments, which may involve receiving intramuscular testosterone injections, to increase the size of the penis. For infants, testosterone cream is applied to the genitals to promote growth in size.
Surgery: If hormone treatments fail to yield results, surgical intervention, where an implant is placed to make the penis look bigger, is the next available option. However, there is a high risk of complications associated with this surgery.
What if you don’t want treatment?
If you’re an adult with a micropenis and no accompanying medical conditions or physical limitations, the choice of whether or not to get treated is entirely yours. Remember, the size of your penis has no bearing on your ability to satisfy a partner sexually. If you’re a heterosexual male, it would also help to know that merely 18.4 percent of women can orgasm with penile penetration alone. By focusing on other techniques such as oral or hand stimulation and being confident about your sexual interactions can go a long way in helping you foster a positive and fulfilling sex life without worrying about the size of your penis.