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Aphallia is a congenital malformation in which the phallus (penis or clitoris) is absent. It is the female counterpart of penile agenesis and testicular agenesis.[1] The word is derived from the Greek a- for "not", and phallos for "penis". It is classified as an intersex condition.


It is a rare condition, with only approximately 60 cases reported as of 1989,[2] and 75 cases as of 2005.[3] However, due to the stigma of intersex conditions and the issues of keeping accurate statistics and records among doctors, it is likely there are more cases than reported.


Aphallia is of unknown causes. It is not linked to deficient hormone amounts or action, but rather to a failure of the fetal genital tubercle to form between 3 and 6 weeks after conception. The urethra of an affected child opens on the perineum.

Prognosis and treatment[edit]

Although aphallia can occur in any body type, it is considered a substantially more troublesome problem with those who have testes present, and has in the past sometimes been considered justification for assigning and rearing a genetically male infant as a girl. Intersex people generally advocate harshly against coercive genital reassignment however, and encourage infants to be raised choosing their own gender identity.

Recent advances in surgical phalloplasty techniques have provided additional options for those still interested in pursuing surgery.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Aphallia | Intersex Society of North America". Archived from the original on 4 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  2. ^ Skoog SJ, Belman AB (1989). "Aphallia: its classification and management". J. Urol. 141 (3): 589–92. PMID 2918598. 
  3. ^ Chibber PJ, Shah HN, Jain P, Yadav P (2005). "Male gender assignment in aphallia: a case report and review of the literature". Int Urol Nephrol 37 (2): 317–9. doi:10.1007/s11255-004-7974-0. PMID 16142564. 
  4. ^ De Castro R, Merlini E, Rigamonti W, Macedo A (2007). "Phalloplasty and urethroplasty in children with penile agenesis: preliminary report". J. Urol. 177 (3): 1112–6; discussion 1117. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2006.10.095. PMID 17296424. 
  5. ^ Descamps MJ, Hayes PM, Hudson DA (2007). "Phalloplasty in complete aphallia: pedicled anterolateral thigh flap". J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 62 (3): e51–4. doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2007.04.014. PMID 17574944.