Steve Baker (a pseudonym), 62, has suffered his whole life from hypospadias, a condition he was born with and one that affects the size, appearance and function of the penis. He says he was never told there was anything wrong by his parents or doctors while growing up. Had he gotten the proper treatment, he would not have lived such a tormented life.
“They must have just all been too embarrassed to mention it,” he explains, regretfully.
He recently told MailOnline about how he once thought he was the only man in the world with the condition until he learned that having a one-inch penis (four-inches when erect) is more common than he thought. In fact, it is believed to affect one in 125 men.
Baker’s finally found support from anonymous online groups where he talks openly about having hypospadias with other sufferers.
He says it “was a huge relief to learn I wasn’t the only man affected.”
Hypospadias is much more common than we all think. It’s usually detected in babies only a few months old. The correct treatment usually begins when the child is between six months old and a year old.
It’s also a condition that affects both urination and intercourse. For some, urinating while standing up is impossible and others can develop a ‘micropenis,’ where the organ measures less than 2 ¾ inches long when fully erect. Also, the hole through which one urinates is often not at the tip of the penis. In Mr. Baker’s case, it is on the side of the head of the organ.
“There is no question it affected my self-confidence and my entire personality because of the importance that society places on the size of men’s penises,” he explains.
It isn’t that Mr Baker never tried to get help for his condition. He consulted a urologist in New Zealand in 1976, who failed to correctly diagnose his hypospadias. The doctor also decided to circumcise Mr Baker, then 21, but he botched the operation and made his condition worse.
“I was left with no feeling at the tip or much sensation of any kind,” Baker says. “If I’d known the issue was hypospadias, I would not have gone near the guy. I have no idea why he decided to circumcise me, and the idea of complaining about the damage wouldn’t have occurred to me. It was all too embarrassing. I just had to live with it.”
According to National Health Services experts in England, “it is important that circumcision does not take place.” The foreskin is needed during the appropriate treatment when the condition is diagnosed.
Mr Baker says that despite the condition and the botched circumcision, he still has a normal sex drive. However, “the combination of lack of size and lack of sensitivity” has affected his relationships.
At 29, he married his best friend’s sister and had two children with her. But the marriage collapsed in 2001.
“We weren’t destined to be together forever,” he says, “but the sex didn’t really help. It was just so difficult, it didn’t really happen.”
Mr Baker is determined to speak openly about having hypospadias. He also wants his children to know and understand the condition. “It could make all the difference to them, and to any grandsons I may have,” he says.