What Is Diphallia?
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Diphallia - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Jan 17, 2023 and last reviewed on Jul 06, 2023   -  4 min read


Diphallia is a rare congenital condition in which a male infant is born with two penises. It is also known as a double phallus or double penis.


Diphallia occurs once in every 200,000 male births. Diphallia is a rare anomaly of the second stage of embryonic development before the differentiation of sex organs. Therefore, it is not an indication of bisexuality or homosexuality; it is simply an unusual anatomical variation. Depending on the type and severity of diphallia, surgical intervention can range from simple to complex. Read more about diphallia, its causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

What Is Diphallia?

Diphallia is a rare congenital abnormality characterized by two penises in a male child. The two shafts are usually about equal in size, although there can be one slightly smaller than the other, and they are almost always positioned side by side rather than one on top of the other. In certain cases, there could be only one urethral opening or none.

A genetic defect usually causes it. The condition can be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment because of its serious health consequences, such as urinary tract infections and erectile dysfunction.

What Is the Cause of Diphallia?

The proximal cause of diphallia is unknown, but it is thought to be a genetic factor. Diphallia is an inherited condition that affects 1 out of every 100,000 people. Diphallia occurs in both sexes and can be inherited from either parent or occur spontaneously during development at any point after conception until birth when it becomes apparent as one has two penises attached through tissues known as connective tissue or suspensory ligaments. Some possible causes of diphallia include genetic, environmental, and maternal health conditions during pregnancy.

What Are the Risk Factors of Diphallia?

  • A family history of diphallia is a risk factor.

  • Genetic disorders can also predispose to diphallia.

  • Congenital abnormalities are present at birth or during fetal development.

  • In some cases, prematurity and preterm birth are also associated with an increased risk of diphallia.

  • Other factors include - tumors, infractions, drugs, alcohol, radiation, and stress.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diphallia?

About 80 to 99 percent of people with diphallia have the following:

  • Double penis.

  • Double scrotum.

About 30 to 79 percent of people with diphallia have the following:

  • Hypospadias (unusual location of the urethra)

  • Ectopic scrotum.

  • Distal urethral duplication.

  • Anal atresia.

  • Penoscrotal transposition.

About five to 29 percent of people with diphallia rarely experience,

  • Sperm production abnormalities.

  • Pubic bone abnormality.

  • Atrial septal defect.

  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testis).

  • Bladder exstrophy.

  • Cloacal exstrophy.

  • Epispadias.

  • Horseshoe kidney.

  • Inguinal hernia.

  • Duplication of the kidney.

  • Duplication of the urethra.

  • Malrotation of the kidney.

In about one to four percent of cases,

  • Absent thumb.

  • Butterfly vertebrae.

  • Colon duplication.

  • Hemivertebrae.

  • Rectoperineal fistula.

  • Scoliosis.

What Are the Complications of Diphallia?

Infection: the foreskin of the penis can become infected, which may lead to scarring and tissue damage.

Pain: the tissue under the foreskin is delicate, so it is possible for there to be nerve damage if it gets squeezed too tight or stretched too much. People with diphallia experience erections that are not as soft and do not last as long as other men. They can also experience pain during intercourse and may have difficulty achieving orgasm due to this condition. This pain can be especially difficult if you have a bifid urethra.

What Is the Diagnosis of Diphallia?

The diagnosis of diphallia includes,

  • Physical Examination: the physical exam will include a thorough inspection of your genitals, including the scrotum and testicles. Sometimes, your doctor may want to see other parts of your body, such as the anus, rectum, and thighs.

  • The health professionals will take a complete medical history.

  • As diphallia is a genetic disorder, genetic testing may be done.

  • Imaging tests include X-ray, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) scan, and ultrasound to find the abnormalities.

  • Blood Tests: The physician may order blood tests such as a complete blood count. Liver function tests and urine analysis for certain infectious diseases like syphilis or gonorrhea infection.

  • Urine Test: A urine sample can be examined for signs of prostate cancer.

What Is the Treatment of Diphallia?

The treatment of diphallia should be treated as early as possible to prevent any serious complications. Treatment of diphallia depends on the severity of the condition and its location.

  • People with diphallia should seek medical attention if they experience discomfort or pain with their sexual function. Many treatments are available for this type of problem, ranging from surgery to medication. However, each person’s situation must be evaluated individually by a doctor before making any decisions about treatment options available to achieve optimal results while minimizing risks.

  • Diphallia is surgically corrected in childhood, usually between the ages of six and 12. The results are usually successful, and the patient will not have further complications.

What Is the Prognosis of Diphallia?

The prognosis of diphallia is generally good if the condition is treated early. However, diphallia is a life-threatening condition if not treated. In particular,

  • Diphallia can cause serious complications such as urinary tract infections and blood clots.

  • Psychological issues such as anxiety and depression may arise in some cases.

When to See a Doctor for Diphallia?

It is essential to see a doctor if a person has a double penis. A double penis may cause pain or discomfort if it is large enough to touch other body parts when erect. This means too much tissue around the base of the shaft. Diphallia needs immediate attention for the penis to function normally without any problems or complications.


Diphallia is a rare congenital anomaly that occurs between one to ten percent of all infants. It can be treated by surgery or hormone therapy. If it is not treated promptly, the patient may develop serious health problems. If concerned, talk with the doctor about what steps they recommend for managing the problem.

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Last reviewed at:
06 Jul 2023  -  4 min read




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