DETROIT (WWJ) Does size matter? Apparently it does, at least to parents who are more than ever quizzing doctors about the size of their son’s penis, according to Dr. Ali Dabaja, a men’s health and sexual medicine specialist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.
“We have patients who come ask us about genitalia size. That is a normal concern. We address it and and make sure there is no underlying condition that needs to be treated,” Dr. Dabaja told WWJ’s Roberta Jasina.
This issue of parental preoccupation with penises, shocking to some, came to light in an opinion piece written by Dr. Perri Klass in the New York Times.
“Questions about penis size have become more common over the past decade, as my colleagues and I have all seen more overweight children coming in for physical exams,” Dr. Klass wrote.
Dr. Aseem Shukla, a pediatric urologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and associate professor of urology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, added to the Times that he sees “dissatisfaction” with phallus size regularly. He said that with 10- to 11-year-old boys, “a common thing is, my son’s penis is too short.”
The underlying issue in many cases isn’t actually penis size, the doctors agreed. It’s a side effect for overweight kids.
“When you examine these kids, it’s usually not the penile size that is of a concern. It is because they gain weight, they become a large frame, and then the discrepancy or actually the proportion, the size, becomes an illusion to the family and the child and it becomes ‘Oh my God, I have a small penis,'” Dr. Dabaja told Jasina. “Some guys might have delayed puberty where they don’t develop at the same rate as their colleague and their cohort, so they have a problem with their perception at the time because they’re not at the same rate of growth.”
If it is a concern, should parents quiz the doctor about penis size normality in front of the child?
“If the child is concerned, they could, because you know they’re going to be in the locker room with their friends and they’re going to see a discrepancy between the size. Then they should acknowledge it, and they should actually take their child, their son, if they want to to go to a doctor and get evaluated. The worst thing they can do is panic and ignore it because it will develop into a problem for the child later on in their development,” Dr. Dabaja told Jasina.
His overall message follows the same lines: Don’t panic.
A micro phallus is very, very rare, but as a boy grows his penis is not going to keep pace with body growth, the doctor said. A discrepancy between the size of different body parts as a child grows in spurts can sound an alarm — but it shouldn’t.
“Don’t panic, some kids might have a delay in puberty,” said a doctor at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “When puberty sets in, you will see growth in the genitalia size. And if you’re still concerned go to your doctor’s office and ask them. There’s nothing wrong with following up with your doctor.”