Micropenis in Children
A micropenis is a penis that is smaller than normal. The normal
length of a newborn's penis is 1.1 to 1.6 inches. The measurement around a newborn's
penis (the circumference) is normally 0.35 to 0.5 inches. The penis is measured by
carefully stretching it. The penis is measured from the tip to the base. A newborn
length of less than 0.75 inches is considered a micropenis. The diagnosis of micropenis
is a length that is less than 2.5 standard deviations below average for age.
Micropenis can happen on its own. But it often happens along with
other disorders. It can happen if a child has a hormone disorder that causes an abnormal
level of the hormones that affect the growth of the sex organs. This can include
problems with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.
The most common sign of a
micropenis is penis size in a baby that is less than 0.75 inches when stretched
Having a small penis often doesn't
cause any symptoms in a baby or child.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and
health history. They may also ask about your family’s health history. They will give
your child a physical exam. The physical exam may include carefully measuring your
child’s penis. Sometimes a baby who is chubby has a lot of belly fat. This can make
baby's penis look small. This is why it is important to measure the penis length
carefully with your child's provider. Your child may also have blood tests or other
testing to check for a hormone disorder.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is.
Your child may be referred to specialists. These may include:
Pediatric urologist. This is a healthcare provider who
focuses on problems with the urinary tract and the male genitals in children.
Pediatric endocrinologist. This is a healthcare provider
who focuses on problems with hormones in children.
Hormone therapy may be used for some children. These can help to cause penile growth.
In some cases, your child may need surgery. Talk with your child’s healthcare providers
about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all treatments.
In some cases, a person with micropenis may have a low sperm count.
This can lead to infertility or decreased fertility.
When to Call a Healthcare Provider
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
- Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse
- New symptoms
- A micropenis is a penis that is
smaller than normal. A penis length of less than 0.75 inches for a newborn is
- It can happen on its own. But it often
happens along with other disorders.
- It can occur with a hormone disorder
that causes an abnormal level of the hormones involved in the growth of the sexual
organs. This can include problems with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.
- Hormone therapy may be used to treat some children. This can help to cause penile
growth. Sometimes surgery may be an option.
- In some cases, a person with
micropenis may have low sperm count. This can result in infertility or decreased
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a
new diagnosis and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new
instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child.
Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose
for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s
provider after office hours, and on weekends and holidays. This is important if your
child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.