An incredibly courageous man went on a TV show in Britain recently, to talk about his penis. It was an unusually small one, called a micropenis. And no, it's not slang for a small penis, it's much more serious than that.
Here are six things you may be curious about regarding the diagnosis:
1. It's a medical condition
Some men are just born with the condition. A male baby's penis may fail to elongate after the first trimester of pregnancy because of hormonal or genetic issues. Parallel to that, adults with the condition may find it difficult to urinate or have satisfying sex. Some men with micropenises have reported a slower sperm count, which can affect fertility.
While there are no precise measurements, according to Men's Health, the average adult penis length, when flaccid, is about 9 cm. And when erect it can swell up to 10 to 13 cm in length. A micropenis is about 3 cm when flaccid and about 6 cm when erect.
3. A micropenis functions normally
A micropenis may be short, but it's good to go. It can still erect and ejaculate with no major problems.
4. So, great sex is a possibility
Although the prevailing assumption is that bigger is better - a study in which more than half the men surveyed said they were not satisfied with their penis size and another scientific study that had women rate computer-generated, flaccid penises found that as the penis size increased, so did the attractiveness score - sex can still be great.
A somatic sex therapist told The Daily Dot that the main focus just needs to shift from penetrative sex. Oral sex, rings, vibrators are good alternative options, says Elizabeth McGrath. "Look at it as an opportunity to find new things rather than focus on one way of doing it specifically," she says.
Plus, the internet is littered with suggestions on how to have great sex with men with micropenises.
5. There is a lot of shame and psychological stress that comes with the condition
One male respondent who has the condition told Cosmopolitan: "Even when I was inside her, she kept asking, 'Is it in?'"
The debilitating fear to perform and sexually satisfy their partners is one of the main stresses that has been found in men with micropenises. "Many men with a true micropenis will have difficulty with healthy sexual relationships because of their insecurity," a reconstruction surgeon told Men's Health. As a result, they may have very low self-esteem and suffer from depression.
6. The penis enlargement market is more likely to find a customer or two out of this
Micropenis and small-penis syndrome sufferers make for good penis enlargement potentials. The penis enlargement market, which can include surgery, injections and pills is burgeoning, even in South Africa. Medical experts warn men seeking this type of procedure to seek help at medically approved facilities as these procedures are still controversial in some quarters. They can be dangerous, painful and extremely expensive.