Any men worry about the size of their penis, but few are aware that the size of the penis is referred to as a “Micropenis” in genuine medical terms.
Yet, how little is a Micropenis? What is the condition’s cause? How is it handled, too?
How small is a Micropenis?
People with Micropenis have a comparatively tiny penis, as the word “micro” denotes. But just how little is a Micropenis?
Any penis that, when stretched, is 2.5 standard deviations less than the average size for the patient’s age is said to have the disease. (1)
What is the result of 2.5 standard deviations below the mean?
Any penis less than 2.8 inches in length in an adult is considered to have this disorder. (2)
Any penis that measures less than 0.75 inches in length in babies is referred to as a micropenis. When gently stretched, a “typical” male newborn’s penis measures between 1.1 and 1.6 inches in length, making this much smaller. (3)
What problems does having a Micropenis cause?
Many issues, including difficulties urinating and engaging in sexual activity, might arise from having a micro-penis.
Furthermore, fertility may be impacted. Some Micropenis patients have infertility or diminished fertility as a result of their low sperm count. (4)
The disease can have a large psychological effect. Many of the affected guys have extremely poor self-esteem, and some of them even experience depression. (2)
What causes Micropenis?
The male baby’s penis fails to extend beyond the first trimester of pregnancy, which results in micropenis. (5)
A hormonal imbalance is assumed to be the root of this. Particularly, it’s thought to be brought on by low levels of testosterone, a hormone associated with sex in men.
The low levels of testosterone may arise from either insufficient testosterone synthesis during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy or from the fetus failing to react to the testosterone that was generated. (6)
Genetic SRD5A2 mutations have been linked to the development of Micropenis, according to research on Japanese patients that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (8)
The steroid 5-alpha reductase 2 enzyme is produced by the SRD5A2 gene, also known as the steroid 5-alpha-reductase, alpha polypeptide 2. This enzyme converts the androgen testosterone into the more powerful androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). (9)
Researchers have also discovered that a hereditary predisposition may predispose males to develop Micropenis when environmental triggers are present.
They discovered a polymorphism known as the Pro185Ala polymorphism in the gene encoding the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR), which may make people more susceptible to developing Micropenis in response to environmental endocrine disruptors like dioxins. (7)
Much more evidence points to the possibility that environmental pollutants like pesticides may contribute to male neonatal external genital abnormalities like Micropenis. (10)
Incidence of Micropenis
It is estimated that 1 in 200 male babies are born with the illness, despite it not being frequently acknowledged. (2)
Historical treatment of Micropenis
In the past, Micropenis was treated by changing the baby’s gender at birth. (6)
Hence, it was encouraged for parents to raise their genetically male offspring as ladies. (11)
Gender reassignment was promoted by John Money, who established the Gender Identity Clinic at the John Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore. (12, 13)
He wrote about the gender reassignment research in which a twin boy was successfully raised as a girl in a paper that was published in 1975. (11, 12)
Nevertheless, Milton Diamond and writer Colapinto later refuted Money’s work, demonstrating that gender reassignment had not been successful. (12) Therapy for the Micropenis
In particular, the genetically male kid raised as a girl decided to revert to her true gender after learning the truth about her gender reassignment. In addition, the patient committed suicide in 2004. (12)
Treatment of Micropenis
According to Mairi MacDonald, the UK Intersex Association (UKIA) now considers cosmetic genital surgery to reassign an infant’s gender from male to female only because the kid has a little penis to be “child abuse.” (5)
Instead, they advise testosterone replacement treatment. This might result in a penile length that is within the “normal range.” (5)
Phalloplasty surgery can also be used to treat micropenis. (2)
Phalloplasty frequently includes the use of skin from the patient’s forearm. To produce an erection, this skin is wrapped over the native penis and an inflated penile prosthesis is placed. (6, 14)
Researchers discovered that this method created a penis that could be used for sexual intercourse regularly and remained stable over time. (14)
Yet, the treatment is high-risk and might result in problems. (6)