Dwarfism. What is dwarfism? Dwarfism is a condition where a person's body has a noticeably shorter build than there typically size person. The average adult person, the short stature has a height of four feet and inches or less. Short stature is not a gene mutation. Short stature can be caused by several kinds of genetic or medical conditions, including low levels of growth hormones or a condition such as brittle bone disease, where bones are easily breakable and do not grow correctly. There are 400 different types of dwarfism and the most common being Achondroplasia. Please note, dwarfism is typically used only for medical purposes. For political correctness, dwarfism will be used sensitively. Interchange with a little person, the common term used by those in the community and short stature build throughout this presentation. Dwarfism is commonly divided into two main types, proportionate and disproportionate. Proportion dwarfism is when an individual has equally smaller legs, arms had, and midsection. This form is common with medical and hormonal abnormalities. Disproportionate dwarfism is when an individual has a typically sized midsection and head but smaller size arms and legs. This form is common with abnormal bone growth. Forms of dwarfism. There are 400 different types of dwarfism. So examples include Achondroplasia, the most common form of short-lived dwarfism, a genetic defect in a developing fetus where cartilage does not turn into bone, preventing future growth of limbs and appendages. Cornelia de Lange syndrome, or CdLS, is a form of dwarfism that can cause smaller size hands and feet, or missing foregrounds and fingers. People with CdLS often have learning difficulties as well as hearing and vision problems. Turner Syndrome, a form of dwarfism that is only found in females and causes the ovaries to be underdeveloped. This can mean that these girls started puberty late and often do not even reach full sexual maturity. Low estrogen hormones from underdeveloped ovaries mean that girls are unable to become pregnant without assistance from medical specialists. Many girls will start HRT, hormone replacement therapy, with estrogen to help sexual development. Since the vagina and vulva typically develop normally, girls with the syndrome are able to have normal, healthy sex lives. Physical effects of dwarfism. Due to being shorter and size, people living with dwarfism can experience a variety of medical complications as well as difficulties with everyday tasks and functioning. Common medical issues: spinal stenosis, pinching of the spinal cord due to it being shorter than average, can cause physical shaking, numbness, or tingling in the legs as well as muscle weakness and trouble controlling bladder functions. If not treated with surgery, paralysis is possible. Hydrocephalus, too much fluid on the brain causes pressure on the brain and skull and the head becomes enlarged. A surgical implant in the brain is needed to relieve the pressure and prevent death. Arthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness without moving. Chronic ear infections can be more common when the person's inner eardrums are smaller and as a result, are deformed. Tubes must be inserted into the eardrums to correctly deformity and prevent permanent hearing loss. Daily functioning, it can be common for people to have trouble with certain tasks like walking long distances, difficulty climbing stairs, as well as using average height, toilets or chairs. Myths and misconceptions about dwarfism. Little people cannot have sex. Truth being born with a shorter stature, does not automatically mean that the person cannot function sexually or have penetrative sex. Lots of people have a healthy sex drive and can access creative ways to be able to masturbate or have sex with another person in a way that works for them. Little people have smaller sized genitals than those of average height. The truth is short stature does not affect one's genital size or appearance. This means that someone with any form of short stature can have the same size penis, vagina, and vulva. Compared to someone of an average height. Little people cannot drive cars. Truth, Many people with short stature can and do drive cars. Through the help of assisted devices, cars can be fully accessible and safe for them to drive. All little people have intellectual learning difficulties as a result of their physical conditions and genetics. Truth. No, just because a person lives with this short stature does not automatically mean that they have any other form of disability or limitation. In some cases, individuals with short stature can have learning disabilities or difficulty communicating with others just like anybody else. Dwarfism and dating life. Many individuals born with dwarfism face social harassment or ejection due to their shorter size. This can cause meeting new people and even dating to be especially difficult. Stereotypes in social media, film, history, and literature can cause people of short stature to be seen as freaks, circus acts, or as childish. Harmful societal views can not only make it difficult for those with short stature to be taken seriously but can also result in someone feeling physically and sexually unattractive or socially unacceptable. Social pressures to be romantically or sexually involved in a person who has short stature, even within the LP community, there has been stigma around dating someone of different size stature. Specifically, beliefs that people have an average height or using them as a sexual fetish or as a social experiment. Dwarfism and sex. Sexual intimacy for those resource stature can be difficult for several reasons. Poor flexibility and shoulders and hips from having shorter limbs can make sex positions other than missionary, insertive partner on top, receptive partner and bottom, challenging or even impossible. Joint pain caused by physical limitations with having shorter limbs can cause sexual activity to be uncomfortable or painful, as well as caused physical and emotional fatigue that can disrupt sexual intimacy. Masturbation for someone living with short stature can lead to additional challenges. For example, manual self-pleasure with the hands or fingers can be difficult for people with average length torsos and short arms if they are unable to reach the genitals. A survey by Certified sexologist and sexual educator, Dr. Marylou Naccarato, who herself is a little person, found that out of the 48 participants involved only 25 percent or 12 total of participants reported being able to reach their genitals. Additionally, only 11 percent, or five total, reported to having sexual satisfying sex lives. However, there are options available on the general market to help assist anyone in achieving sexual fulfillment by themselves. Toys such as vibrators, masturbation sleeves for penis pleasure, as well as pillows or assisting position aids to help reach genitals. Dwarfism and pregnancy. Women with short stature are perfectly able to become pregnant. However, shorter limbs and joint pain can make carrying a baby to full-term especially uncomfortable. Since short stature is mostly caused by genetic birth effects, LP having their own biological children brings the possibility of either A, having a child who also is born with a form of dwarfism, or B having a child who is of average stature. The genes of dwarfism are able to be passed down to offspring when only one parent has dwarfism, or even if neither parents have dwarfism. Mothers who carry a child that is of average size are fully capable of carrying the baby to full term. The disproportionate weight of the baby in the womb can cause even more stress on the mother's body and health. Natural vaginal childbirth can be dangerous with someone with short stature. Most births are cesarean births, surgical removal of the baby from the mother's womb. Dr. Naccarato survey led to her having further questions on how to make solo and partnered sexual intimacy more accessible to those like herself. On her website is a list of products on the market that are tested and approved by other little people in approving sexual satisfaction, such as the Liberated Heart Wedge, cushion to help provide ease of the joints and muscles and aids in positioning. Hitachi magic wand vibrator. Its fraudulent size helps reach the genitals all while providing intense vibrations for the ultimate pleasure. Dr. Naccarato's "LOVE BENCH" is a short padded bench to improve comfort and sexual positioning, also great for massaging and personal pleasure. Check out the website to find out more.