Men with micropenis appear to have a realistic perspective of their penis size and well-adjusted outcomes, results of a small survey suggest.
As compared with a control group, men with micropenis were more likely to have a poor body image but were no more likely to exhibit homosexual tendencies, said Christopher Houk, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.
The findings, reported at the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology meeting, came from a survey of 12 men with micropenis and 12 controls without the condition (median age, 21 years). The questionnaire addressed topics related to pubertal development, health status, body image, and sexual and other health-related behaviors.
“The purpose of the study was to examine body image, lifestyle factors, and sexual behaviors among men who had been diagnosed with micropenis in childhood in comparison to age-matched control men,” said Dr. Houk.
The men in the micropenis group had an adult stretched penile length of 7.5 to 12.5 cm. All the men had completed puberty. Eight men in the micropenis group required exogenous testosterone to complete puberty. All men reported themselves to be in good health.
The survey showed that all 12 men with micropenis believed their penis was smaller than average. Additionally, five of the 12 men in the control group also thought their penises were smaller than average. Five men in the micropenis group and one in the control group indicated that they had less body hair than normal.
With respect to body image, seven of 12 men in the micropenis group felt their physique was poor, and two identified obesity as the reason. On the other hand, three felt their physique was better than average. In the control group, two men felt their physique was poor, and one believed he had a better than average physique.
With respect to various behaviors potentially affected by micropenis, no differences in the two groups were seen concerning avoiding public restrooms, concealing their penis when urinating, avoiding undressing in locker rooms, or use of public showers. With respect to sexual activity, all the men in the micropenis and control group said they masturbated. Eight men in the micropenis group and five in the control group had a history of sexual intercourse. All of the men with micropenis denied homosexual tendencies and experiences.
“Adult men with micropenis maintained an accurate perspective about their relative penis size,” Dr. Houk said. “They had a higher rate of poor body image. They showed no differences in sexual behavior. In particular, they showed no increase in homosexuality. This small survey suggests a realistic and well-adjusted outcome for men with micropenis.”
The survey did not ask whether the men with micropenis would be interested in enlarging their penises if it were possible. Right now there is no way—short of surgery—for these men to make their penises larger naturally. However, the company that makes a water-based penis pump called Penomet has said that they were at work on a smaller version of their product designed for men with micropenis.