ABCMD definition of Diphallia:
Diphallia is a rare congenital anomaly (birth defect) in which the penis is partially or completely duplicated.
What is Diphallia?
Diphallia is a congenital anomaly (birth defect) in which a male has two penises. This disorder is also known as penile duplication (PD). This congenital anomaly occurs when two genital tubercles develop. The Genital tubercle is the portion of the embryo (developing fertilized egg) that develops into the penis or clitoris. As a result the penis may be partially or completely duplicated. The two penises can either be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
The two penises usually lay side by side. In other cases the penises will be on top of the other. They may be of equal size or one may be significantly smaller than the other. Both penises may function normally as they may be able urinate independently as well as simultaneously. They are usually capable of having erection and ejaculation.
Diphallia is not a hereditary disorder, meaning this is generally not something you inherit from your parents. Many men with penile duplication can have normal sexual lives, although there is a high rate of infertility (inability to have children) in men with Diphallia.
How often diphallia occurs?
Diphallia is an extremely rare disorder. This disorder was first described by Johannes Jacob Wecker in 1609. Since then only 100 cases of diphallia has been reported. On average, around 1 in every 5.5 Million men will be affected by this disorder.
What are the causes of Diphallia?
Very little is known about diphallia and the factors that cause it. Some medical professionals believe this anomaly occurs as a result of stress during the time of which the normal penis would be developing within the embryo. This typically occurs around the 23rd to 25th day of gestation. During these days factors such as an injury, malfunctioning genes or chemical stress may affect how the penis forms.
What are the other disorders related to Diphallia?
Men who have penile duplication may suffer from duplication of other body parts as well. A person having penile duplication may have two anuses, two bladders or two livers. Spina bifida is very common among men with diphallia as well.
Infants born with penile duplication may have a high mortality rate (death rate) because their complex renal (kidney) or colorectal systems are more prone to infections and other disease. Problems due to duplication of bladders and livers also increase the mortality rate of diphallia patients.
How is Diphallia treated?
No cure has been fully established for diphallia. Surgical amputation may be the only option available.
There have been cases in which people with diphallia successfully underwent surgical treatment and amputation. Typically, during this treatment, the less developed penis is amputated.
Surgical amputation may not always be possible, however. This may be especially true if both of the penises are fully developed or in cases where the penises are complicatedly connected to other organs of the body or where other malformations are also present.
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