Medical Definition of Microphallus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Microphallus: An abnormally small penis. Also called micropenis.

In medical practice, the dimension of the penis that is measured is the length. The measurement is taken along the upper surface of the shaft of the penis to the tip, using a measuring tape or preferably a ruler. The ruler is pressed firmly into the soft tissue over the pubic bone (the symphysis pubis) since, in obese boys and men, a seemingly small penis may be partly engulfed by the fat pad at its base and actually be quite normal in length. Normal standards are available for penile length. True micropenis may reflect failure of normal hormonal stimulation or a failure of normal development during the formation of the embryo (a birth defect).

The prefix "micro-" is derived from the Greek "mikros" meaning small. It diminishes whatever it precedes.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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