Advice about the Penis
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Our 4yo boy has a Very Small Penis. It's obviously smaller than his 18mo old brother's! Both are not circumcised. I am not panicked or overly worried, but it is true ... I am concerned that it will always be small, and I don't want him to be teased or to develop a low self-image b/c of it. He already notices that it is smaller than his little brother's, and other boys whom he sees peeing at preschool. I listen with empathy then tell him that all penises are different, some are small, some are big, different shapes, etc. He is reassured for the moment, but it comes up occasionally. My husband says it might get bigger in puberty, and his pediatrician assures me that he will still be able to have his own children! But that's not my concern. I just wonder if anyone has a similar story and what happened over the years as he reached puberty and beyond. Thank you! small but beautiful!
I can relate to your worry, Mama. First of all, your husband is right that his penis might grow larger during puberty. But, even if it doesn't, the way he feels about it will be tied to how he feels about himself in general, so, try to make sure that he has the opportunity to become at master at something in life, whether it be sports, music, academia, martial arts, anything! Something that he is interested in. Kids who are really good at something have high self esteem. Then, the size of his penis should not be a problem. Perhaps his future wife, who will be a wonderful, loving, devoted, affectionate mate, will have a vagina that is so small that it's a problem for every man she meets, except for your wonderful son. Also, remember that it's also easier for a woman to give wonderful oral sex to a man who is not built like an elephant. Believe that we are all given the things we need and can love. Also, good for you for keeping him intact. This will also help to make him a good lover (smile). He will be fine and strong
I'm not so sure you can make any predictions about the adult dimensions based on what it looks like at 4. Or at least that was my experience. Don't worry about it. Mom of 3 boys
It worries me when parents cast their cultural values upon their children, eg penis size, women's breast features. Kids have enough to deal with. Mellow out !! My now deceased husband. had a smaller than average penis, and now I have 3 gorgeous sturdy sons. He was the best, adoring lover, penis size was not a problem. When my sons,all school aged, bring up the fact of other boys having ''larger than them'' penis size, I emphasize in non serious manner, how great to have a healthy, workable appendage.. maria
Some of us have a ''Shower'' - a large penis when soft but no larger when hard. Some of us have a ''Grower'' - a small penis when soft but much larger when hard. I'm a ''Grower'' who has satisfied several women. Its what you do with it that counts. ! Right Sized for all Occasions
Just adding my voice to those who wrote in to affirm that -- as any Hogwarts student knows -- ''it's not the size of the wand, it's the skill of the magician''. Dumbledore
I know the question sounds weird, but as my son gets older, it bugs me more and more. I never understood why he could never aim in the toilet. Or why he had to turn his body to one side to pee. For some time, I thought maybe it's a just an abnormality. But really?? And then I remembered his circumcision. Is it possible the Pediatrician did a poor job?? Is it correctable? Is there anyone out there who's son has a penis that bends slightly to one side? (Only noticeable when erect.) Thoughts? Any adult males who can comment on this? Thanks in advance for any insight. Anonymous
Your description of your son's penis is familiar to me. Not only does my penis curve to the left when erect (so I will sometimes turn around to the right if peeing with an erection), but I've known of many other guys since I was a child who have this left or right curvature. Some also curve up or down. In my experience, a straight penis is the exception. I have yet to meet a male who says these curves have produced any problems in performing or enjoying sex with a woman or man. There were a couple of teenage years when I felt embarrassed because my penis didn't match the ones in textbooks, but that faded away and it has never been an issue with any of my partners. You can always ask your pediatrician to check in about this privately with your son during his next physical exam.
I suggest you see if one day your son has questions about the human body. Then you can hear if he has any concerns and reassure him that his penis is fine and that if he experiences any difficult changes or problems with his penis function that you'll be there to support him in getting taken care of as comfortably as possible.
This can become a lesson in teaching him self-acceptance and compassion for all kinds of differences in human beings. That's what happened for me. Best of luck to you both. a friend
Sounds very minor, but if you're concerned, you can have your pedi-urologist take a look. son's distal hypospadias recently repaired
I had a boyfriend whose penis was ''crooked'' and it was never an issue. He thought it was sort of cool and different and never felt weird about it at all. As long as there is not health issue I think it is just one of the many differences in our bodies.... it worked just fine!
Hello, your son could have a condition called Hypospadias. My son was diagnosed at birth and then have a surgery at 10 months to correct it. In this condition, before surgery, circumcision is not advised since skin will be used for correction. You may want to check the web for more info. If you want to e-mail me, please ask my e-mail from the moderator. anon
My friend's son had this issue because of a bad circumcision. It was corrected with surgery. anon
One of my (toddler) sons also has a crooked penis-- it has a bend in it and veers off to one side. But he is uncircumcised, so that can't be the cause of it (in our case at least). I just assumed it's one of those things. --
My husband was 11 when he was circumcised. He blames the slight angle of his erect penis on the circumcision (about 15 degrees from center). He was old enough to know the difference from before and after. For what it is worth, from my perspective it does not make one bit of difference! anon
In my (moderate, but not vast) experience most men's erect penises curve to one degree or another. While undergoing fertility treatments I did mention to my doctor that DH's has a good curve to one side and he laughed and said that if I was worried about that I hadn't seen as many normal erect penises as he had. Since he was both a doctor and a gay man in his 50s I assume it is pretty normal. DH is circed and his penis functions perfectly in every regard. anon
It seems a strange thing to worry about, but my infant son has such a tiny penis, sometimes it disappears completely! Did you have a son whose penis seemed micro sized then grew to normal size as he matured? That is my hope. I know how important this is to men so it makes me sad that he may have to deal with feelings of insecurity. I'm too embarrassed to voice my concerns to our pediatrician because I'm afraid he will write it down in the chart and my son will one day find out that I was concerned. Penis size was never on my radar with my first son because he seemed average, and I never thought I would even care about penis size. But since this could impact his psychological well-being, I am concerned. Please tell me that it will grow, or that he will otherwise be ok. anon
For sure talk to your pediatrician about it! I'm 99 % sure s/he will just tell you it's fine and babies who are nice and chubby often look like they have barely any penis. That is what our pediatrician said. In that case, nothing will be written down on his medical records. But if there IS anything to worry about, you will be able to take action.
I had a similar experience with my son. He was NICE and CHUBBY as a baby. His penis barely protruded. He was also circumcised. And the circumcision seemed like it had left behind a lot of the foreskin. When swimming at the YMCA I would compare his penis to all the other little boys in the changing room (all of whom were uncircumcised) and he did not compare favorably! I was a little relieved when I was at a pool party with a lot of little circumcised boys his age. They looked like they were more in the same penile ballpark. I think circumcision must make some difference in little babies in terms of how big their penis looks when flaccid. My son is now 6 and pretty normal looking, I think. His chub has disappeared and his penis has taken its rightful place sticking out from his thighs. Phew!
I think your pediatrician would have mentioned it if his penis was outside the range of normal, but if you are worried (and I think it's pretty natural to worry) I think you should ask the question. Good luck! Relieved
Hi there, I have the same issue with my third son. At the last visit, I asked my pediatrician about it, so she examined him. She assured me that he is perfectly normal and that most of it is covered by fat in his groin area (my son is on the chubby side). It is probably nothing, but I do think you should still speak with his doctor so that s/he can assess if there are any problems. I don't think your concern will go in his charts unless there is an actual or probable cause of concern. Trust me - doctors don't/can't jot down every concern we moms come to them with. in your shoes
This may or may not be your solution but... My boy had something called ''buried penis'' where the actual penis (shaft?) was trapped inside. The foreskin made it look like a penis, as we did not circumsize, and the ''penis'' looked small. Around 2 or 3 months of age, his pee would collect in the foreskin and we would have to squeeze it out at diaper changes. Our doctor referred us to a pediatric urologist. At 4 months, he had a simple surgery to get it out. He's fine now. anon
My son is 10 years old and has a penis that does not extend to its full length unless he is urinating or during an erection. Instead, most of the time, it is as if it retracts so that only about 1/2 inch is visible. We took him to an urologist when he was 5, and he assured us this sometimes happens and that it will correct itself by puberty. But, somehow I find myself worrying about it again. I'm wondering if anyone has had a son with a similar situation, and if so when did his penis change? Thanks for your advice.
Thanks for your help
Is your youngster overweight or obese? Frequently, in such cases, the shaft of the penis is hidden by the excessive fatty tissue and appears ''too small''. If it extends to a ''normal'' length during erection, then there is probably little to worry about. I assume that the testicles are properly descended into the scrotum. I had a similar problem when I was a child and my father was concerned about such. Nothing was done and all turned out quite normally when I ''grew up''. I have sired four children and have had a satisfactory sex life for all of my 68 years. If ''normal'' signs of puberty do not develop at a normal time, then I would check with an urologist once again Robert
i need some reasurrance about our 8 month old son's little penis--it always seems to be ''hidden'' by his skin. i rarely see it come straight out unless he's ready to pee and even then its still surrounded by what is i guess the foreskin or the skin around it (not sure what to call it). if we push down on that skin we can see it but it still looks so small. he was circumcised and we think that they just didn't take a lot of the foreskin off, but our doctor says his penis is perfectly normal and it won't actually come out of the skin area (not sure what to call it) until he is in 2nd or 3rd grade. this is reasurring and i should just stop worrying about it but then i see the little boys in george's playgroup being changed and their penis' all stick out! some are huge! i'm becoming one of those mothers who is comparing their child and i hate it. i DON'T want this to be an issue with my son, and i can't believe i'm letting this bother me. but i find myself hiding his penis when changing his diaper in front of others. this is HORRIBLE, i know. i just want to know if anyone else out there has a son with a hidden little penis. its actually quite cute and looks like a little button, but i just want to know that he isn't going to be made fun of in first grade when he's got to go to the bathroom. since i don't have a penis and am not too familiar with how they are supposed to grow (can't find any info on this online) i would appreciate any advice or information. --penis envy!
My son had, and still to some degree has, a similar problem. We refered to his penis as an ''inny'' much as one would refer to a belly button as an inny. It would only come out when he went pee or during the occassion ''pokey'' as we'd call his mini- erections. The skin (he was also circumsized) folded around it although didn't come to a tip like an uncircumsized penis. I think some of it had to do with that the whole area was just kinda pudgy.
With that said, he is now 4 1/2 and for the most part it tends to pop out more than in. In his case, the skin adhered to the tip of his penis so that it doesn't pull back all the way so it still has a little bit of a turtle look and doesn't look like other boys' penises, circumsized or not. I also think that enough skin wasn't taken off yet have been reassured he'd grow into it. He hasn't quite yet, but it is better. We'll see. I do worry about it less though, and it looks more and more ''normal,'' whatever that means, everyday.
Also, please don't feel bad about worrying about it or think that you're horrible to care. Its not that you're worried people will think poorly about you cause your son's penis is little, you're worried about him and don't want him to be teased. That is a normal thing for a mom to feel and its great that you care so much about him. Just make sure as he gets older that he doesn't pick up on any of your vibes about it. Perhaps you could see a urologist for some reassurance. If they think its fine, and his pediatrician thinks its fine, most likely, in the end, it will be. mom with penis woes too
we too have the same issue with our baby boy. since our first child was a girl, my husband and i had no idea what was supposed to be normal. it started being hidden at about 8 weeks and he is now almost a year old and we still rarely see it! like you, our pediatrician assured us that this is perfectly normal. also, a family member is a urologist who referred to the area above our baby's penis as a ''fat pad'' and also assured us everything is fine. we too tried doing research on this issue and didn't see it addressed in any of the baby books or online. everyone is telling us not to worry about it. i hope it gives you some reassurance that your baby is not alone! where is it?
Ah, yes, the things you have to worry about once you become a mother of boys! I have 2 sons, ages 6 mos and 2 yrs, and both of them had so much skin left after the circumcision that I thought something must be wrong. The baby's penis is still entirely hidden unless you push the skin back; the 2yo's shows on its own but you still have to push skin back to see what I would think of as a penis shape. The doctor says it's fine. Bottom line, I think both of them had what the doc would call a ''conservative'' circumcision (eg, could/should have taken off more skin than they did), but I think they'll both turn out fine in the end. If you're really concerned, get a second opinion from a urologist, but know that any ''revisions'' at this stage would involve general anesthesia. I decided it was better to wait and see. way more than I ever wanted to know
I don't really have any answers for you, but based on my own observations, there does seem to be a huge range in size between boys. My son's penis does seem to be on the small size and I was wondering if he was normal the other day when I saw a boy the same age with a penis that looked several times bigger! Chances are your son is somewhere on the normal range as well, or it not, that he will be in time. My husband said as a child that he didn't spend any time ''comparing'', so hopefully it won't be an issue later on. Mom of a boy
Please consult another pediatrician for your own peace of mind and for your son's sake. There are several correctable things it could be. anon
I am the mom of fraternal boy twins (age 2.5) who are circumcised. One has a penis that looks to me like I expected a penis should (I only really got a look at a penis when I saw adult ones when I became sexually active so it's all I have to base it on). You can see the shaft and the head. The other little guy has a penis that sounds like what you describe -- there is just a little button and I can't make out the head or the shaft (as I expected I would be able to in a circumcised penis). The doctor told me that he may have a slight amount of redundant foreskin but that really, once this child had erections and his penis grew, the head would separate and pop out from the wrinkled sac where it likes to reside these days. The doctor was able to pull the penis out a bit to show me the shape of the head and that it was indeed detached. Ask your pediatrician to take a look if you are concerned. anon
I too have a son who had a ''hidden'' penis, exactly as you describe. I had the same suspicion about the circumcision, but our pediatrician has always said it was because of fat in his groin area. He's now two, and I can tell you that it is much better now, at least we can see it now! However, I like you, find myself making comparisons to other boys, and wondering if his penis is smaller than most, and whether that will change later. I also have not read or seen any information on the topic. anon
Hello, When I first read your post I had to chuckle, remembering how I wrote a very similar post on this subject almost three years ago. Ous son also had a ''hidden'' penis, starting a few weeks after his circumcision, and we were worried that it was not normal. Most of my friends with boys had chosen not to circumcise, and their boys' penises seemed huge in comparison to my son's; all that you could see of it were little flaps of the skin surrounding it. My family used to make many teasing comments about the size as well, which needless to say did not help the situation.
What I did was to occassionaly manipulate the skin by pushing down gently, just to make sure it did not adhere to the head. His penis eventually reappeared around 1 1/2 years, as he slimmed down, and there wasn't as much fat around his groin for the penis to hide in. Now he is 3, and toilet traning. He plays with himself all the time, and often has an erection. I'm happy to say he seems normal in size, and I don't notice any extra forskin. I would say don't worry, this will pass as he grows and slims down. Try not to worry too much. amy
I didn't see the original post, but ''hidden penises'' are very common, especially in chubby baby boys. This is because there are ligaments that pull the penis back ( that's why little boys don't *hang* the way adult men do, because the relaxation of the ligaments happens in puberty). In chubby boys, the fat covers much of the shaft. To see your boy's ''true'' length, place your index and middle fingers on either side of the penis and gently push in toward the abdomen-this exposes the shaft. a Pediatrician
My baby started life with a normal looking penis, but not long after he was circumcised it started to retreat so that the skin covered the head again. He is now six months old, and the penis has completely disappeared so all that's left are little flaps of skin. If I push down on the skin, the head pokes out for a moment, and I do this a couple times a week to make sure the skin doesn't re-attach. He is a very chunky little boy, and I'm sure once he loses some baby fat things will return to normal, but I'm curious if anyone has experienced this, and if so, at what age did the penis reappear? My husband has been taking this very personally, especially with all the comments we get from other family members. anon
Yes, my son's did that too. I think when he started walking, we started to see the penis again! Don't worry - it's just a baby thing.
Hello, My son is scheduled this month to have surgery to correct a condition called hypospadius. He has a moderate level of the condition. I am hoping to hear from other parents whose sons have undergone this procedure. Any advice, thoughts, etc. would be GREATLY appreciated! We are planning to do the surgery at Kaiser. Thank you very much, Heather
My son has hypospadia and hypocordia (minor genital birth defect). We opted to not pursue surgery when he was an infant, as the hypospadia is mild and the extent of the hypocordia could not be determined until he got an erection. Also, we were not given any compelling reasons why surgery in infancy was better than waiting until he was old enough to decide for himself (and waitng for suregery techniques to improve even more). Well he's now 7 and I think we need to start developing a relationship with a urologist before he hits adolescence. I was thinking we would work with Sumner Marshall but I hear that he is about to retire. I am worried that most urologists will be one trick ponies who advocate ''cutting'' without much discussion of anything else. I am wondering what other families have done and who they have worked with. Thanks!
Hi, My son was born with hypospadia and we are going ahead with the procedure to correct it once he is one year old. We have met with Dr. Chi Lee who is in the same practice as the Dr. you mentioned (I believe he has actually already retired). We decided to go ahead with the surgery because at least in our son's case, it is off enough that as he gets older he would most likely end up urinating on his shoes and later in adulthood the Dr. said that he could have trouble with sperm placement if he wanted to have children. I think it might be worth you meeting with Dr. Lee (he came highly recommended to us and other parents in the ''network'' have responded to me about him as well). mom
My son does not have the problem that you are facing, but a few months ago we had to see a urologist for another minor problem. The first doctor we saw was in Marshal's practice, and he very quickly recommended cutting, which seemed extreme to me. He offered few other alternatives, and none that were non-invasive. We sought a second opinion with Hiep Nguen at UCSF pediatric urology department. I can't recommend him highly enough. He was kind and caring, took time to explain to us the situation, gave us a stack of papers to read about the problem and current medical options (many from Europe, where circumcision is not the norm), and solved our son's problem with a simple topical cream. He was also available via email during the treatment period for any questions we had (we had to apply the cream for three weeks). I felt there was a world of differences between practices--UCSF seemed to be much more current on new proceedures and treatments. Good luck to you and your son! Anonymous