Do You Have a Micropenis? Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology

infographic about the micropenis condition
A Quick Warning: Please note that the article below contains extensive information and photos of patients with the micropenis condition. Some of this material is probably NSFW (not safe for work).


Micro, a greek word for small.. combined with the word penis, you don’t need to be much of a genius to imagine what the term is used for... But what exactly is this stress-causing condition that many men dread the sound of? Follow the lines below and find out for yourselves.

What is a micropenis?

To set things straight, not all small penises fall under the micro category. The term “micropenis” is basically a fancy medical word for an abnormally small penis. But, what defines normal in this case?

Well, any penis that measures from 10.5-19 cm (4.2-7.5 inches) from head to.. toe is pretty much normal. For the rest, underprivileged ones, who can barely reach an erection of 7-9 cm (3 - 3.5 inches) or less, “micropenis” is the word used to describe their penis.

If we were to be a bit more scientific, we would say that the most common criterion used to define a micropenis is a dorsal  erect penile length of at least 2.5 standard deviations smaller than the average human penis size.

For babies, a stretched penile length of 2.0 cm or less, is a primary indicator but nothing more. So, there is no need for an early and unnecessary fuss if your baby boy’s wee-wee cannot stretch beyond that.

The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 200 men ( or 0.5% of the male population if you prefer percentages).

Moreover, there are no set sizes when trying to call a penis micro, as numerous factors (like age and ethnicity) have their part as well.

For example, a study named "Should the definition of micropenis vary according to ethnicity?" concluded yes because "Mean penile length and diameter are slightly but significantly smaller in newborns of Chinese origin compared to newborns of Caucasian and East-Indian origins.". Therefore, it is wise to be aware of the micropenis’ existence, but it is wiser to always consult a specialist to get a professional diagnose and information on the available certified steps to deal with it.

Here's a photo of an adult man with the condition for those of you that would prefer some visual stimuli:

a 7 cm (2.5 inches) erect micropenis
Erect border-line micropenis - 7 cm (2 1/2 inches)
Photo submitted by Rune

A micropenis is only special because of its length (or the lack of it, I guess-that might sound a bit mean, so forgive me if I‘ve offended anyone, that’s not my intention). Micropenises look and feel the same as bigger penises, they are capable of erections and all other reproductive capabilities like sperm production and ejaculation. You could consider them as dwarf penises, completely functional, but of smaller size.

In some cases, a micropenis might come along with other genital malformations, like hypospadias, epispadias, cryptorchidism and then the term microphallus is preferred (sounds kind of a harry potter book thing, doesn’t it?). Finally, I’d like to warn you not to mistake a micropenis for a "hidden penis", which is a normal-sized penis obscured by excessive suprapubic fat.

When and how can the condition be diagnosed ?

In most cases the diagnosis happens right after birth. If you are a lot older than that, you can easily find out whether you have a micro by simply visiting a doctor or a physician and if you can handle a measure tape, you can do it for yourself as well. Just make sure that you know how to properly measure your penis size.

However, several more examinations and tests may be needed, as it is common for the micropenis syndrome to be accompanied by other ailments, usually of hormonal nature like Klinefelter syndrome and Leydig cell hypoplasia (I know, all these don’t sound very appealing, but they are not life threatening, so chin up and smile!).

What are the causes? How is a micropenis born?

The exact causes behind this medical condition have yet to be explored and understood in full extent. However, we do know that the condition is often the result of several hormonal abnormalities (sex-chromosomes related) that occur during the second and third semester of pregnancy.

In most cases - more than 50 % - micro penile disorder is accompanied by hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, which is the failure of the hypothalamus to produce an adequate amount of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). About 25 % of patients have hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism and 15 % have end organ hormonal insensitivity, predominantly due to androgen insensitivity from growth hormone defects.

It is also possible for micropenis to be a part of other genetic malformation syndromes that are not related to sex chromosomes. For example, it can be an early sign of congenital growth-hormone deficiency or congenital hypopituitarism.

Several homeobox genes (a large family of 235 genes that direct the formation of many body structures during early embryonic development) have also been found to affect penis and digit size with no detectable hormone abnormalities.

Utero exposure to certain estrogen based fertility drugs like diethylstilbestrol (DES) has been linked to various genital abnormalities including the micropenis condition.

Finally, a 2012 study showed that uncontrolled domestic pesticide use increases the likelihood of newborns with a micropenis and/or other genital malformations.

The downsides of having a micro..

A micropenis can give the owner  a hard time to urinate while standing and sexual intercourse can become difficult more often than not. The anxiety resulting from a small penis is another serious problem. In a world where size matters, having a micropenis can put the man under severe social and psychological pressure.

Being naked in a locker room or finding a sexual partner can become a nightmare and for that reason, these situations are often avoided by the patient. Imagine the fear of becoming the figure of ridicule every time you have to take your pants off in front of someone else. When such feelings are taking over, then erectile dysfunction can also become a common problem. A lot of other psychological problems can occur too, ranging from something minor (like low self-esteem issues and difficulty talking to women) to more serious, like suicidal thoughts. If you head over the interviews section, you will notice that it’s very hard to find a single account of someone who hasn't experienced depression or instances of bullying.

erect 3.5 inches micropenis
Another borderline micro penis, about 3.5 inches erect

What are the signs/symptoms of micropenis?

Other than a small penis, a child or adult with the condition should be thoroughly examined by a medical specialist for other congenital abnormalities and conditions, like the ones listed below.

Conditions associated with the micropenis condition

Amicropenis might be accompanied by several other medical conditions. The majority of these conditions are of reduced prenatal androgen production or effect. And now, if you are a med-geek, you may find pleasure in reading the following lines giving some noteable examples. If not, though, you can skip all the medical mumbo jumbo and jump to the next section:
  • Androgen insensitivity syndromes
  • Fryns syndrome
  • Fraser syndrome (also known as Meyer-Schwickerath's syndrome)
  • Inadequate pituitary stimulation Gonadotropin deficiency Other forms of congenital hypogonadism.
  • Kallmann syndrome (often with un-descended testicles)
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Laron syndrome
  • Leydig cell hypoplasia
  • Partial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS)
  • Robinow syndrome
  • Septo-optic dysplasia (de Morsier syndrome)
  • Specific defects of testosterone
  • Testicular dysgenesis
  • 17,20-lyase deficiency
  • 5α-reductase deficiency

Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there is no easy and quick cure for patients with a micro-penis. Still, there are many clinically tried methods that can induce some penile growth. However, each patient is unique and the optimal treatment varies from case to case, depending on the patient's age, medical history and the severity of the condition (how small the penis is and if there are any accompanying conditions).

shaftless micropenis with total abscence of shaft
An extreme case

Treatments for adults

As of now there are two clinically proven ways to enlarge an adult's penis and thus a micropenis. Click the corresponding links down below, to learn more about each option:
  • Using a penis traction device: A 2006 study has showed that penis enlargement using a traction device is possible. However, this is only option for border-line micropenises (3.0 inches when stretched or larger). Anything smaller than that will not properly fit into said devices. 
  • Phalloplasty: Phalloplasty is a type of surgery that among others, is also used for penis enlargement. There have been been many successful examples, some of which are featured in the studies section of the site. Notable is the case of Sergei, a Russian guy who initially had a penis that was about 2 inches long when erect. Using a technique that resembles the one used for female to male transgenders, his doctors achieved a remarkable erect size of 7 inches!
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, may have possible future applications for the treatment of adults. However this hormone treatment is still experimental, having been tried only once, in a small sample of men who all presented with a small penis due to Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism.

a circumcised micropenis about 1.5 inches long when erect
Erect micropenis in an adult
More small penis pics

What about children's micropenis? 
There are several treatments for children that have been tried as of today..

Hormone treatment (with testosterone) has shown very promising results in the treatment of micropenia, especially when given at a very young age. For example, a study published in 1999 showed that 1 or 2 short courses of testosterone have a high success ratio (more than 80 %) in augmenting penile size into the normal range. The latter is especially true for micropenises resulting from fetal testosterone deficiency.

According to a 1993 stydy, another very effective treatment can be the topical application of Dihydrotestosterone cream for a period of 8 weeks. Interestingly, this treatment induced significant penile gains even in patients who had failed to respond to testosterone therapy.

Discontinued Treatments
In the past, many doctors opted newborns with the condition for a sex reassignment operation. However, in the last decades this approach has been largely abandoned for a variety of reasons which are thoroughly explained here.

Worried about your son?

Many parents are concerned that their son may have a smaller than average penis. As I have written before, the condition is usually diagnosed at birth. However, it sometimes goes unnoticed and then it's too late to "fix" it with hormonal therapy. In the chart below you can have a look at the average size for your boy's age that might be of help. Still, I'd say it's better to consult with a specialist instead of trying to do a diagnosis yourself.  You can also click here for some extra parental advice.

AgeNormal: Mean +/- 1 SD (inches)Abnormal: Mean – 2.5 SD (inches)
0-5 months1.5 +/- 0.30.75
6-12 months1.7 +/- 0.30.9
1-2 years1.9 +/- 0.31.0
2-3 years2.0 +/- 0.41.1
3-4 years2.2 +/- 0.41.3
4-5 years2.2 +/- 0.41.4
5-8 years2.4 +/- 0.41.5
8-11 years2.5 +/- 0.41.5
Adult5.2 +/- 0.63.7

Keep in mind that most 8 to 14 year old boys referred to a doctor for a micropenis do not actually have one. Such concerns are usually explained by one of the following reasons:
  • Obesity - a penis may be concealed in suprapubic fat (diet and exercise is the answer here, not hormones!).
  • A large body and frame that makes the penis appear small (you would even call a 20-cm salami small if you saw it served on a very big tray, so it all depends on the front you have).
  • Delayed puberty with good reasons to expect future normal growth (some people need more time to grow!).

Don't forget, reading stuff on the Internet is great but nothing can replace the opinion of a specialist! Please consult a doctor if you are worried about your son's health!

Satisfaction in bed

Having a very small penis (or a partner with one) does indeed present with certain challenges, both mental and practical. However this does not necessarily doom your sex life to boredom or lack of pleasure and satisfaction. Vaginas, much like penises, come into all shapes and sizes. Some women have very small and tight vaginas and that leads to sex with a normal-sized penis becoming a painful and difficult experience, if not impossible!

Furthermore, for many women intercourse is simply not enjoyable and something they do just for the sake of their guy. If that's the case, you don't need a big penis but a big creativity tank! Cunnilingus, clitoral vibrators, fingering and the coital alignment technique are some things that will give your partner the big O. Penis sleeves, strap-ons and small penis sex techniques are some other things that may help you if your partner enjoys penetration.

If you think that all this is wishful thinking, think again. Here's a comment left by a female reader of the site:

"My boyfriend has one and he knows how to use it. There are so many ways to satisfy your woman. Just be willing to make sure that she is satisfied before intercourse. I, even, have orgasms when he is inside me. I try to find ways to please him as well. Oh guys......BJs are much more exciting with a micro !!! "

Condom Troubles..Finding a properly fitting condom

Since the condom industry does not provide for micropenis guys, small penises don’t get to find a proper condom easily. If you are looking for some suggestions, here are some condom recommendations for small penises. But still, even these aren't probably small enough for a micro!

If you ask me, I think the best idea is to use a female condom (for vaginal or anal intercourse) which the receiving partner wears internally.
female condoms can be an alternative options for guys with a micropenis
Polyurethane female condom

Some Quick Facts

Let’s see if you can remember these highlights:
  • Any adult with an erect penile length of 3.5 inches or less should be evaluated for micropenis
  • During childhood, the condition can be treated with hcg, testosterone and/or Dihydrotestosterone
  • About 0.6 % of men have a micro
  • Penetrative sex with a micropenis is often difficult or impossible, especially in certain sex positions
  • There is no adverse intellectual prognosis for patients born with a micropenis
  • There has been some limited success in "fixing" a micropenis surgically (here's an example) although the operation is very complicated and expensive
  • It's almost impossible for patients to urinate while standing up
  • Men with the condition have a higher chance to present with a low sperm count. This can result in infertility or decreased fertility.

Micropenis and Small Penis Syndrome are not the same 

Micropenis and small penis syndrome are two totally different things and should not be confused. The latter is a type of body dysmorphic disorder (a mental disorder via obsessive preoccupation with a perceived defect in one's own appearance) in which the man thinks his penis is too small even though it isn't.

Perhaps one reason men have this anxiety is because many of them have no idea what a normal-size penis looks like. Interestingly, a study has shown that about 15% of men admit they don't know how they compare to the average. The images they are shown in porn films are far beyond normal and result in men getting the false impression of how a normal penis should look like. That explains why some men unreasonably feel inferior about their love muscle.

Often Mistaken for a micropenis

As mentioned in the introduction, not everything that appears to be a small penis is actually a micropenis. There are some other conditions that sometimes give the appearance of a micropenis, with the main ones being:

  • Buried penis: A buried penis is actually a normal sized penis that happens to be hidden or buried under folds of skin of the abdomen and the surround area. The condition is often diagnosed in infancy, but sometimes it also develops later in life, as a result of morbid obesity and/or other reasons. For example, as men get older, their pelvic floor muscles generally weaken which  affects how the penis rests. This combined with putting a lot of extra weight can lead to buried penis in some older men.
  • Webbed penis: This is another condition often mistaken for a micropenis. Also known as an “inconspicuous penis.”, it's either congenital or develops as a circumcision complication. In a webbed penis, the skin from the scrotum is attached unusually high on the shaft, making the penis appear smaller than it generally is and giving it cosmetic appearance that is often unacceptable. In most cases cosmetic surgery can fix the problem.

A Notable Case - Bruce Reimer 

David Reimer (August 22, 1965 – May 4, 2004) was a Canadian man (originally named Bruce) who wasn't born with a micropenis. However, an accident during circumcision left him with almost no penis. This happened when an urologist performed the operation using the unconventional method of cauterization. The procedure did not go as planned, and Bruce's penis was burned beyond surgical repair.

Concerned about their son's prospects for future happiness and sexual function without a normal penis, they followed the advice of noted psychologist and sexologist Dr. John Money and agreed that he should have sex reassignment surgery and be raised as a girl. At the age of 22 months, baby Bruce underwent a bilateral orchidectomy, during which his testes were surgically removed, a rudimentary vulva was fashioned and he was given the name Brenda. Despite being raised as a girl,  he never identified as a female. Reimer learned the truth at the age of 14 and chose to live as a male from then on and started calling himself David. By 1987, he had undergone treatment to reverse the reassignment, including testosterone injections, a double mastectomy, and two phalloplasty operations.

As an adult, he married and co-wrote a book about his life. Reimer had a troubled childhood and a history of depression, and he committed suicide in 2004. His story is used by many to discourage doctors from surgically reassigning boys with micropenis. His life has also been used as an example of what could happen to a man if his parents decide to circumcise him at birth, and the effect it can have on him throughout his life

Any other questions?
Got any other questions not covered by the article? If yes, I invite you to check the other sections of the site using the menu at the top. You can find almost anything, from studies to documentaries to personal stories from guys with a micro.

If you still have questions just leave a comment using the comment form below. I would be happy to answer!

Want to talk with somebody?

I understand that for most men, having a micropenis is a heavy stone to carry.. If you want to talk to someone for your problem feel free to send me an email, leave a comment on any of the pages here or just come by our reddit sub.


  1. I always knew I had a small penis never knew it had a name for it

  2. yeah im 19 and i thot it was always just small. this really sucks. havnt decided what to do yet. suicide is definetly an option gonna go see a doctor soon to see my options

    1. Honey, suicide is never an option....acceptance of oneself is a first and foremost...and sexual satisfaction takes on many pleasureable forms! ;)

  3. I was born yrs ago by a contry dr. They just thought it was nature no horomonies were given so just put up with micro penis and small testicles always had diffuclity urinating when standing.The sex thing was a whole different page trying to please a woman was not good.

  4. 52 married 5 kids i have a micro

    1. What's yours penis size in erect position???????

  5. My boyfriend has one and he knows how to use it. There are so many ways to satisfy your woman. Just be willing to make sure that she is satisfied before intercourse. I, even, have orgasms when he is inside me. I try to find ways to please him as well. Oh guys......BJs are much more exciting with a micro !!!

  6. Thank you for this site! I am 22 y.o. and until now I always thought I was small but didn't know I have actually a medical condition with a name (my fully erect penis is about 5cm long which I think would be a little more than 2 inches, so it can be considered a misropenis!). I am also happy that others have shared their experiences, so that me and my girlfriend don't need to be afraid not to have babies in future. And for others that might read this blog, I am in a long-term relationship with a girlfriend and she is satisfied with me, she said that it doesn't bother her when I asked her, so don't worry, you can have a good relationship and sexual life even if you have a micropenis!

  7. WOW thank you guys fully erect my penis is 2 1/2 cm s have hidden away most of my life
    Great to see men like me

  8. I'm almost 3.7 on the dot when fully erect. Does this mean I have a micro?

  9. I just found this site. I have always been curious as to just how well I stack up and I'm not that surprised to find out that I also have a micro-penis. I have always had urination issues while standing and I'm a life long bed wetter. Having an accident in my early 20's has put me back in diapers 24/7 and I am now in my late 40's. One day while getting changed I happened to have had a pack of matches laying near by on the night stand.....(lighting candles)...LOL....anyway, I began to get an erection and picked up the matchbook cover and laid it next to my penis. To my shock and amazement, the matchbook cover was larger than my penis in both length and width. No I know what my mother meant when she told me that I belonged in diapers. After looking through the info here and the growth penis falls into the category between a newborn and a toddler. It doesn't bother me...even slightly that I am in diapers and have an extremely small penis. Life is to short to worry about such things.

  10. Some courageous entries. This first came up when being drunk one night and flashed some female friends who were shocked, about "how small" I was. But like the others commented, once you get your partner stimilated, by other methods, intercourse is just the final "icing-on-the-cake" !

  11. reading all those comments ..sorry for my bad english..also for suicide and cheated men or abandoned and divorces,these men cant find women really and they lives alone in their life in loneliness,many of them they havent kids or they cant have,i understand the real meaning of the word love .i mean the love between man and woman.And i see,we see,this love isnt real love but its one kid of sexuality,its a sexuality who determinates the <> so we have replace the word of love with the word of sex here.its unbelievable but its true =first of all, when we try to find what a woman wants from one MAN more, the money the character the humor the good sex etc we have to say (and we said that before without be focus on it..)oh yes !to be a man!and thats a sexual word ,not feeling word, or whatelse and any doubt on it can change all! its not a philosophical comment but its a real meaning of <> between man and woman.You can say we are still monkeys ,the triumph of materialism against idealism or humanism or any spiritual theory,yes its sad, but God gave us the love ,we can find it if we search, a real love.You can be scoptic sure.I see you can be brave also.Look how many marriages getting to divorce for other reasons look how liars they are also the couples,look the hypocrisia of every minute there.Me? Yes i have under of 5 inches(4.9 inchess i have in full erection , and i am not black man) so...i have micropenis for 0.1 inch!(?)Damn! The thickness take the revenger cause its 6.5 inch ,crushing the classic theory ,again,of whats a normal or not!

  12. I want to know when the testosterone treatment for baby boy started. I was born in the eighties with a small penis but I did not receive any testosterone.


The comments are moderated. It usually takes less than a day till they get approved.