Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Steve shares his micropenis story (DailyMail)

Steve has suffered from major
depression due to his condition
Steve Brookes*, a 42-year-old professional composer born with a micropenis, recently talked to the DailyMail about his rare condition and the problems it has caused to his life. Allegedly, his parents were too ashamed to discuss the condition and he was also bullied and ridiculed at school.

"I felt I just had to discuss it with someone so when I was eight I told my best friend at school. Within half an hour the whole school knew, it was awful. I became the school joke and made an outcast.", said Steve.

In total, Steve had 15 operations in an attempt to enlarge his manhood and allow him to urinate standing up. The first one was when he was just 11 months old. At 17, he refused to submit to further operations. Today, he has a functional penis, which however is too small to use a condom.

His attempts at sexual contact drew derision and contempt. He got married to the first girl he slept with at 21, but that ended badly when his wife started an affair and said that she would never consider having children with him.

His story has a happy ending though. At the age of 27  he got married again. His wife is a music teacher-turned-psychotherapist and they now have a daughter aged 14 and a son, 12.

"Outwardly my life is in good order. I have a beautiful wife, a lovely family and I love my work, but I have had intensive therapy to treat major depression. I only found out what my condition was called well into adulthood. This condition has less to do with being able to pee standing up, and more to do with the psychological issues around silence and secrecy. It is really tragic that so many boys are made to feel ashamed in this way.", said Steve.

*Name is not real for obvious reasons.

Monday, December 7, 2015

8 Quick Facts About Your Penis

What's more important? Length or girth? Is a big dick enough to satisfy a woman, or are other things like foreplay and stamina required? And by "big", what exactly do we mean? What is the normal length of a penis and when is a penis considered too small or large?

Read these 8 quick facts and find out:

  • Flaccid penile length is not proportional to erect penile length
  • When erect, the length of a normal penis in adults ranges from 12 to 15 cm whereas the average girth is about 12,5 cm.
  • Just having a big penis does not guarantee female orgasm. Yes it might be advantageous in some cases but other things come into play. Overall appearance, foreplay, technique, sex position etc.
  • For most women, girth is more important than length.
  • A very large penis may cause pain during penetration and throughout the duration of intercourse.
  • At least 1 in 2 men thinks he has a small penis or even a micropenis. The truth is that most men have a perfectly normal penis.
  • A study has shown that length is the third least important quality (among 8 others factors) when women are asked "What is a good-looking penis?"!
  • The fear that your penis might be too small may cause erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation

Friday, December 4, 2015

Researchers Identify Genes Connecting Endocrine Disruption to Micropenis and Other Genital Malformations

Martin J Cohn
Researchers at the University of Florida Health recently announced that they have identified genes that are disrupted by abnormal hormone signalling at crucial points during development. These findings may lead to a better understanding of how some of the most common male genital birth defects, like micropenis, arise in humans.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. The research team was led by principal investigator Martin J. Cohn, Ph.D., a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the UF College of Medicine and a member of the UF Genetics Institute.

The discovery that environmental signals can interfere with the activity of genes that orchestrate genital development in mouse embryos has potential implications for increasingly common genital birth defects that affect one out of every 125 boys in developed countries.

Cohn and his team, Zhengui Zheng, Ph.D., and Brooke Armfield, Ph.D., both postdoctoral associates in the department of molecular genetics and microbiology, found that androgen and estrogen -hormones produced by the endocrine system - control a series of genes in the embryonic genitalia of mice.

In the team's experiments, when the balance between these two hormones was disrupted, the activity of those genes changed and the genitalia developed abnormally. That provided a new genetic link between endocrine disruption and genital defects, said Cohn.

However, it was not yet clear that disrupting the genes’ activity was the direct cause of these malformations. To answer that question, the researchers manipulated the target genes and discovered that inactivating even one of them was enough to cause feminization of the male genitals.

The hormonal disruptions led to several birth defects, including hypospadias, abnormal genital curving (known as chordee), micropenis; and ambiguous genitals.

photo showing a man's penis with chordee
Human penis with chordee.
The researchers note that the timing of the endocrine disruption was also very crucial. The researchers found a series of short periods of development when different genital deformities can arise in mice with otherwise normal, healthy genes. The type of genital malformation that develops is affected by the timing of the endocrine disruption.

For example, blocking the androgen signal during early development caused complete feminization of the genitalia, whereas slightly later disruptions led to hypospadias and chordee. After birth, either disrupting the androgen signal or increasing the estrogen signal resulted in micropenis, meaning that sexual differentiation of the genitalia begins before birth and continues through puberty.

“We identified very narrow windows of development that explain this broad spectrum of genital malformations.” Cohn said.

The researchers also pinpointed 22 genes expressed in embryonic genitalia that can be positively and negatively regulated by signals from the environment.

“I suspect that this could be the tip of the iceberg.” Cohn said.

Knowing which genes are responsible for genital birth defects and when the embryo is most vulnerable to endocrine disrupting signals is an important step forward, Cohn said. Over the past 40 years, the incidence of hypospadias has increased dramatically for unknown reasons. Mutations have been found in very few of the affected individuals.

photo of a man who has hypospadias
Example of penis with hypospadias

While there isn’t a scientific consensus about what causes genital birth defects, there is increasing evidence that environmental factors play a significant role.

“Our results suggest that if environmental factors disrupt the expression of genes during one of these critical developmental periods, then this can lead to the same kinds of malformations that result from mutations.” Cohn said.

Some chemicals that disrupt endocrine signaling occur in pesticides and herbicides, personal care products such as antibacterial soap and manufacturing of plastics.

“They’re pretty hard to avoid. We are exposed to endocrine disruptors every day.” Cohn said.

With this in mind, the researchers hope to better understand the mechanisms of endocrine disrupting chemicals that cause genital malformation.

“If we can determine how the embryo responds to the precise levels and combinations of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, then there is an opportunity to improve prenatal care.” he said.

The team's ultimate goal is to find ways to protect embryos from the chemicals that cause genital birth defects.

The abstract of the study reads as following:

"Congenital penile anomalies (CPAs) are among the most common human birth defects. Reports of CPAs, which include hypospadias, chordee, micropenis, and ambiguous genitalia, have risen sharply in recent decades, but the causes of these malformations are rarely identified. Both genetic anomalies and environmental factors, such as antiandrogenic and estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), are suspected to cause CPAs; however, little is known about the temporal window(s) of sensitivity to EDCs, or the tissue-specific roles and downstream targets of the androgen receptor (AR) in external genitalia. Here, we show that the full spectrum of CPAs can be produced by disrupting AR at different developmental stages and in specific cell types in the mouse genital tubercle. Inactivation of AR during a narrow window of prenatal development results in hypospadias and chordee, whereas earlier disruptions cause ambiguous genitalia and later disruptions cause micropenis. The neonatal phase of penile development is controlled by the balance of AR to estrogen receptor α (ERα) activity; either inhibition of androgen or augmentation of estrogen signaling can induce micropenis. AR and ERα have opposite effects on cell division, apoptosis, and regulation of Hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein, and Wnt signaling in the genital tubercle. We identify Indian hedgehog (Ihh) as a novel downstream target of AR in external genitalia and show that conditional deletion of Ihh inhibits penile masculinization. These studies reveal previously unidentified cellular and molecular mechanisms by which antiandrogenic and estrogenic signals induce penile malformations and demonstrate that the timing of endocrine disruption can determine the type of CPA."

    man showing his erect micropenis, ruler for proof
    Erect Micropenis
    more micropenis photos

    - Zhengui Zheng, Brooke A. Armfield, Martin J. Cohn. Timing of androgen receptor disruption and estrogen exposure underlies a spectrum of congenital penile anomalies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201515981 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1515981112

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    Did Napoleon have a small penis?

    We all have heard the myth about Napoléon Bonaparte and his extremely small penis. Now,  a British show comes to confirm it: the preserved penis of Napoleon, located in New Jersey and held by the son of a famous collector is indeed very small, just 3.8 cm long.

    Napoleon is famous for his successes in the field of battle. However, the British show "Dead Famous DNA"  by the British Channel 4. reveals that his penis size was quite dissapointing.  According to the show, his penis was only 3.8 cm long.

    The revelation was made to the public by Evan Lattimer, who inherited it by his father, a renowned urologist and collector. His father bought the preserved penis in 1977, at an auction in Paris for $ 3,000. The artifact is known among Lattimers as "Napoleon’s Item".

    But how is Napoleon's penis still in circulation? It seems, that his doctor, Francesco Autommarchi, cut it off during his autopsy in front of 17 witnesses, before it was then acquired by priest Abbé Anges Paul Vignali who gave the leader his last rites.

    "I’ve seen a lot of penises, from a chihuahua to a sperm whale. This is so withered. The last place I would have expected to find it is in New Jersey. It’s strange how the withered penis has ventured further around the world than Napoleon ever did" said Mark Evans, Presenter of the show.

    "Dad believed that urology should be proper and decent and not a joke. It’s very small, but it’s famous for being small. It’s perfect structurally, the university have done X-rays and examinations and it’s obviously what it is." said Lattimer.

    Enjoy the full episode:

    Please leave a comment if the link to the video is broken, I will try to replace it ASAP.