A man born without a penis is set to be one of the first in Britain to have an organ surgically reconstructed from tissue taken from his arm.
Andrew Wardle was born with his bladder outside his body – known as an ectopic bladder.
An estimated one in 30 million men are born with the condition, which usually sees a small fold of skin, less than an inch long, in place of the penis.
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Andrew Wardle was born with an ectopic bladder in place of a penis
Men with the condition do tend to have fully functional testicles.
Wardle was adopted by a loving couple from Wales after his 17-year-old mother gave him up because she was apparently “horrified” by his condition.
The 39-year-old has kept his condition a secret from friends and colleagues all his life, but now he's facing a year-long medical procedure to give him the manhood he has always wanted, Wardle has decided to come clean.
Revealing he has slept with more than 100 women, satisfying them in every way apart from full sex, Wardle explained: “Ladies love me because I was completely non-threatening to them.
“I used my charm and insecurities to get them into bed. Many of my girlfriends became best friends rather than lovers.”
And while Wardle is eagerly looking forward to the day when he'll “be a proper man”, he says he’s not sure whether he's ready for fatherhood.
He said: "I've lived my entire life thinking that I'll never be a dad, but hearing that I could father children terrifies me.
"When I get it, I'm not sure whether I'll use my new manhood to be a dad or not.
"I've spent my entire life thinking I would never be able to be a dad - and now with the possibility finally there for me, I don't know if it's something I could come to terms with."
Wardle faces several delicate operations over the course of the next year - all on the NHS - to give him a penis for the first time in his life.
If all goes well, he will be able to achieve an erection using a pump device to force blood to flow into his new penis, which will be created from skin and fat from his forearm into a functional penis, putting his insecurities about his sexual capabilities firmly to bed.
Wardle is facing a year of surgery to give him the manhood he has always yearned for
He added: "I still can't believe it is possible for me to actually have a fully functioning penis.
"I've got a long road ahead of me - they told me that after a year, and quite a few operations, I'll have a penis that works the same way as any other man's."
As a child Wardle underwent 15 operations to build a tube from his bladder so he could urinate normally.
He explained: "I could urinate standing up with the tube, but if anyone ever looked, I would just joke that I had a small penis.
"I hid it from everyone - apart from girls I took to bed.”
After opening up to his first girlfriend at the age of 17, Wardle realised there were ways he could please women that did not involve full sex, and has gathered a wealth of experience and a few props to help him along the way.
He said: "I've done everything you can imagine, apart from full sex. Ladies love me because I've got the gift of the gab and a handsome face.
"Only once has telling a woman I don't have a penis turned out badly. She got angry and punched me in the face."
Wardle became addicted to drugs during his 20s as he worked at Butlins in Minehead.
He said: "By taking drugs I gave myself the perfect cover.
"I'd take girls to bed but tell them I things could only go so far because I couldn't rise to the occasion.
"Most of the time they didn't seem too bothered - they liked the fact I could pleasure them in other ways and never expected anything in return."
Wardle, who hit rock bottom a couple of years ago and tried to take his own life with an overdose of pills, was thrilled to learn that specialists have developed a way to build a penis.
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