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Men's Health

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Is My Penis Too Small?

Micropenis, Inconspicuous Penis Less Common Than Small Penis Syndrome

Micropenis: When a Penis Really Is Too Small continued...

When discovered in infancy, micropenis can be treated with testosterone, which can stimulate penis growth in childhood, even after puberty. While the safety and long-term efficacy of this treatment remains to be proved, available data suggest the treatment does not affect normal development during puberty.

For adults with micropenis, the options are few.

"For true micropenis, there is not much you can do that is adequate for the adult patient, except for putting in a penile prosthesis," Gilbert says.

Fortunately, micropenis is a rare condition. Far more common is what Palmer and colleagues call "the constellation of conditions that make the penis look diminutive and small" -- inconspicuous penis.

Inconspicuous Penis: When Size Isn't the Only Issue

"Inconspicuous penis means a penis that is hard to see," Palmer says.

Micropenis -- a truly tiny penile shaft -- is the rarest of the conditions under the umbrella term "inconspicuous penis."

Other forms of inconspicuous penis that may have remained untreated until adulthood are webbed penis and buried penis.

"The webbed penis indicates the scrotum has connected to the underside of the penis so it pulls the penis inward," Palmer says. "Usually the penis is at right angles to the scrotum. But in webbed penis, the scrotum is high riding and the separation from the penis is not clear."

Buried penis occurs when the penis is hidden below the skin. This can happen because of excessive belly fat in the front of the abdominal wall droops down to conceal the penis. It can also happen when the connection to the scrotum is absent and the penis withdraws inward toward the pelvis. Another form of buried penis occurs when a too-large foreskin makes the penis look buried.

Webbed penis can be addressed via surgery. Buried penis may require only weight loss, and perhaps liposuction. There are also surgical procedures that can correct the problem.

Small Penis Syndrome

It's been dubbed small penis syndrome: the belief that you aren't a real man because you don't have a big penis.

Perhaps one reason men often believe this is that most men have no idea what a normal-size penis looks like. When asked to guess, most guess wrong. About 15% of men just throw up their hands and admit they don't know, one study found.

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