What is a Micro-penis?
The term micro-penis typically refers to a penis smaller than 3 inches when erect. This condition is usually noted immediately after birth. There are a variety of causes but are usually a result of prenatal defects and reduced androgen production.
This can usually be a result of low testosterone levels, lack of pituitary gland stimulation and hypogonadism. Although adolescent males are often referred for treatments of micro-penis disorders, it is often misdiagnosed. In the cases of adolescents the lack of size is a result of suprapubic fat, in which the penis is less visible as a result of extra fat around the pubic area. Delayed puberty may also be a cause for the small penis size an adolescent may encounter. This is a normal part of adolescence and typically growth occurs at a later stage.
Causes of the Micro-penis
Given the controversy and difficulties which these males encounter, more and more studies have emerged in order to identify the reasons behind this penile length deficiency. A Japanese study of approximately 80 patients noted that a micro-penis is most likely caused due to a mutation in a gene which encodes enzyme-5. This gene plays a direct role in male sex differentiation. The mutation of these genes and the disruption in the encoding of enzyme-5, results in penises with 2.5 standard deviations below the mean, approximately 3 inches.
There are a variety of treatments available on the market. The Japanese study cited above found that hormone treatments such as Human Growth Hormone (HGH) can increase testosterone levels and pituitary activity resulting in increases in length. These forms of treatment are implemented prior to adolescence, in order to stimulate growth come puberty.
For males who have not had the opportunity for pre-adolescence treatment, penis enlargement extenders are an alternative medical enlargement device. Longitudinal stress is applied to the body of the penis resulting in the stretching and extension of ligaments, increasing the overall size of the penis. These extenders work on the principle of traction, and through stress regenerate the skin cells of the penis body.