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Many men feel that their penis is too small compared to others. However, a truly anatomically smaller than average penis is very rare. But the term “mircopenis” does in fact exist as a medical diagnosis.

At what point does one speak of a micropenis?

One speaks of a micropenis when the penis is 2.5 standard deviations below the mean value of the patient’s age group. In adult men, this means that a micropenis is present as soon as the erected penis is shorter than 7 cm or measures less than 4 cm when flaccid.

For comparison, according to the 2015 study “Am I normal?”, the average penis is 9.16 centimeters long when flaccid, measures 13.24 centimeters when erect, and 13.12 centimeters when erect. Proper penis length is always measured at the back of the penis, that is, the “top” of the member, from the pubic symphysis to the tip of the penis.

True micropenis or “buried penis”?

Not every penis that appears smaller than average at first glance is actually a micropenis, however. In men with obesity (severe overweight), there is often also an increase in fatty tissue in the area of the mons pubis. As a result, the visible part of the penis is literally “buried” by the fatty tissue, thus losing visual length and can therefore appear visually like a micropenis. This is therefore referred to as a “buried penis“.

In this case, a liposuction operation in which the excess fat in the area around the penis is suctioned out can help to give the penis more visual length again.

Very few men actually suffer from a true micropenis. The few studies that exist on the subject suggest a frequency of between 0.6% and 2% of all men.

Causes & reasons for a micropenis

The reason for the lack of penile development in micropenis is primarily due to a disturbed androgenic hormone balance.

In the vast majority of cases, the testicles do not produce enough testosterone for normal development of the sexual organs. This may be due to a lack of hormone stimulation caused by hypofunction of the pituitary or hypothalamus (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism – about 50% of cases) or due to a malfunction of the testis (hypergonadotropic hypogonadism – about 25% of cases).

In about 15% of cases of micropenes, there is at least partial testosterone resistance (androgen resistance). In the other 10% of cases the exact cause of micropenis is unclear (idiopathic micropenis).

In many cases, micropenis is only a syndrome of a disturbed hormone balance, which can also manifest itself differently in various genetic diseases.

Treatment for micropenis

If micropenis is diagnosed early enough, i.e. in childhood, it can be treated hormonally. In testosterone substitution therapy, the patient is injected with the  hormone testosterone, which allows the penis to develop quasi-normally.

In adult men, however, hormonal treatment is no longer effective. In this case, surgical and minimally invasive methods of penis enlargement are used:

Surgical penis enlargement can lengthen the visible part of the penis by a few centimeters. By cutting the  penile retaining ligaments, the inner part of the penis can be shifted a bit to the outside and thus can be lengthened between 2 and 6 centimeters in the flaccid state.

A penile girth enhancement with autologous fat or hyaluronic acid can be used to adjust the girth of the penis.

Problems with a micropenis

There are basically no functional problems associated with a micropenis. However, it can sometimes lead to certain limitations during sexual intercourse due to the lack of length.

Above all, men who suffer from a small penis often experience a high psychological burden. Even in childhood and adolescence, an optically significantly smaller penis leads to teasing among peers, later in puberty and as an adult to shame or insecurity towards the opposite sex.

Because there is no such thing as the perfect penis – what is important is that you feel comfortable in your body, are comfortable with your penis and can use it properly. Also, the length of the member is not solely responsible for good sex.

However, as soon as you as a man do not feel comfortable in your own body, the discomfort and insecurity have serious psychosexual effects, intimate relationships are difficult and even everyday life becomes a burden, you should talk to an andrologist.


Dr. med. Franklin Kuehhas

About the Author

Dr. med. Franklin Kuehhas Dr. Franklin Kuehhas is a medical specialist in the field of urology and andrology. He received his specialization training at the University College London. He also underwent his training at the prestigious University Hospital in Heidelberg (Germany) and at the University Hospital of Vienna (Austria). Dr Kuehhas focuses on the treatment of congenital and acquired penile curvatures (Peyronie’s disease), implantation of penile prostheses and also aesthetic genital surgery in men.