Definition of Micro penis- A very small penis
Micropenis, also known as microphallus, is a penis that is 2.5 standard deviations below the mean (average) for the age and race of the child. This definition translates to a stretched penis length of less than 1.9cm (3/4 inch) long at birth and can be described as a micropenis. Statistically, micropenis occurs in 0.6% of the population.
Lack of development of sexual organs and penis size
There are many reasons why the penis may not develop. Very early in the development of the human male or female fetus differences in the genitalia cannot be detected, even though the sex chromosomes XX (in most females) and XY (in most males) have put down the basic building blocks. It is hormones produced by the gonads determined by the sex chromosomes that then determine which organs develop and which ones disappear. The same tissue that forms the clitoris in the female forms into a penis in males, the tissue that makes the scrotum in the male makes the labia in the female. Because of the complexity of fetal development things can and do go wrong. Therefore it should be no surprise that things can go wrong in the development of the sex organs.
Causes of micropenis- very small penis
The central role here is chromosomes and hormones as the deciding factors of the male or femaleness of the fetus and baby. Micropenis occurs when these systems fail to work properly. There are many different possible causes and problems with penis growth can start the after 14 weeks of fetal growth.
Micropenis is often due to inadequate testosterone in 2nd and 3rd trimester of fetal growth. There may be a genetic cause. Although there is no gene per se that causes micro penis, there are a number of associated syndromes. An example is androgen insensitivity, where the fetus started as a male but was insensitive to testosterone (the male hormone), or syndromes caused by chromosomal abnormalities such as Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome or Down’s Syndrome.
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