The Top 5 Reasons for a Shrinking Penis

7 min read
four cactuses on brown background that look like penises and appear to be shrinking

When it comes to sex and sexual health, it's really tough being a man. There's so much pressure on us to perform in the bedroom and meet unattainable standards created by modern American culture. Whether it's in adult films, mainstream television, or blockbuster movies, we are constantly inundated with images of virulent, well-endowed men that get erections on cue and keep them for hours. Unfortunately, our "equipment" rarely performs exactly the way we want it to. To make matters worse, our "endowment" is given to us at birth.

The genetic lottery that determines the size of our penis seems to act with little rhyme or reason. Right or wrong, this single determination plays such a significant role in shaping our future male sexual identity. And, as if nature isn't cruel enough, our penis size, like our sexual performance, diminishes over time.

Wait . . . what, say that again?! Most men have no idea that their penises can actually shrink over time. Penis shrinkage. That’s right! Your manhood can and most likely get smaller as you age. But, all is not lost, you can prevent and even reverse penile shrinkage, even without resorting penile enlargement surgery.

Why Is My Penis Shrinking?!

The thought of losing penis length and girth is not a pleasant one for most men. Actually, it’s downright terrifying. There is no single aspect of the human body that plays such a critical role in defining a man’s identity as his manhood. A well-endowed man is often associated with greater masculinity, vigor, and sexual prowess. The bigger the manhood, the better the man. At least that’s what we're constantly told. But, what is defined as small, medium, or large?

What Is A Normal Penis Size?

Normal size is up for interpretation. While many studies have been conducted over the years, Alfred Kinsey has conducted one of the most comprehensive studies to date. Kinsey examined more than 3500 penises and found that the average flaccid length was 8.8 centimeters (3.5 inches), the average erect length ranged between 12.9 -15 centimeters (5-6 inches) and the average circumference of the erect penis was 12.3 centimeters (4.75 inches). More interestingly, 85% or so of women are perfectly satisfied with their partner’s penile size, while only 55% of men are satisfied with their own penis size.

So, what does this tell us? A couple of things. First, the average erection size is probably smaller than most men think. And, second, men are more concerned about the appearance and size of their manhood than their sexual partners are. But whether you think you are small or large, no man wants penis shrinkage. That’s just a fact.

What Are The Top 5 Causes For Penis Shrinkage?

1) Excessive Weight Gain

french fries, large hamburger and man's midsection with shirt stretched to the limit because of fat belly

Does my penis shrink when I gain weight? Simply put, yes. Unfortunately, it is true, gaining weight can reduce penis size. As your belly grows, the penis is physically pulled into the body. Not only does the penis appear shorter when a man’s belly gets bigger, but it also actually loses length, because it is unable to extend farther from the body. While penile length remains intact, the bulk of the penis becomes trapped in the body’s fat pad. As these fatty deposits increase in the abdominal wall, the penis can appear smaller.  It’s estimated that for every 35 pounds of weight gain, there is a one-inch loss in apparent penile length! Excessive weight gain as men age can also reduce healthy blood flow to the penis and contribute to erectile dysfunction.

SOLUTION: Stay in shape, maintain a healthy diet, and take steps to improve your overall health. While we hear that advice all the time, nobody actually says your penis might shrink if you don’t. Sounds like an effective marketing campaign for healthy eating.

2) Disuse Atrophy (Use It Or Lose It!)

two men flexing biceps, one with large muscles and one with small muscles

If you don’t use your penis, it will shrink. It’s true. Like any other part of the human body, the penis needs to be exercised on a regular basis. What does that mean? Have sex regularly. Masturbate often. Produce erections and use them. Create blood flow to the penis on a regular basis, Yes, that right, those activities are actually good for you. Your body is designed for it. Your penis is meant to be engorged with blood. A flaccid penis isn't good. In fact, if one goes too long without an erection, collagen, smooth muscle, elastin, and other erectile tissues may begin to deteriorate, resulting in a loss of penile length and girth and limiting one’s ability to achieve an erection. In a vicious cycle, loss of sexual function can lead to further progression of the problem as poor genital blood flow causes low oxygen levels in the blood vessels and genital tissues.

SOLUTION: Exercise your penis by being sexually active on a regular basis. Fill your erectile tissues with blood, keep your penile muscle cells healthy, maintain your erectile function, engage in healthy lifestyle habits, stop cigarette smoking, and improve your overall health. In addition, one of the best ways to keep your penis in great shape is to exercise your pelvic muscles.

3) You Have A Broken Or Damaged Penis

cactus and reflection in a broken mirror

Broken penis. Yep, this one is also true. You can break your penis, and it’s very dangerous. It often occurs during sex when the penis may be accidentally jammed against the woman’s pelvic bone, causing the cartilage in the penis to fracture. Breaking the penis may create an emergency situation that requires surgical repair, which is not only necessary to stop the bleeding and repair the damage, but also to prevent the potential for Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease affects about one in 100 men and is a condition that causes the penis to curve, resulting in penile shortening, deformity, angulation, and pain.

Peyronie’s disease is caused by both major traumatic injury to the penis and by the cumulative effects of chronic penile micro-traumatic or small injuries from sexual activities. As a result, scar tissue, which is hard and inelastic, builds up in the penis and prevents proper expansion of the erectile tissue, chambers, and muscle cells. In the early phases of Peyronie’s disease, some men notice a painful lump of scar tissue or hardness in the penis when they have an erection as well as a bent or angulated erect penis. In its more mature chronic phase, the pain disappears, but the hardness and curvature persist, often accompanied by penile shortening and narrowing. As a result of Peyronie's disease and the build-up of scar tissue, some men are unable to obtain and maintain an erection.

SOLUTION: Be careful when having sex. If you notice a painful lump of erectile tissue or scar tissue, a bend, shortening, and deformity, see a urologist for management as Peyronie's disease is treatable once the acute phase is over and the scarring stabilizes. If you experience a penile fracture after a miss-stroke—marked by an audible pop, acute pain, swelling, and bruising—head to the emergency room ASAP!

4) The Effects of Prostate Surgery

Prostate cancer affects one in nine men. Think about it, that is a huge number! Older men and African-American men are most likely to be diagnosed. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40. The average age at diagnosis is about 66.

While it is critical to remove the problem to save lives, prostate surgery, particularly radical prostatectomy, often results in decreased penile length and girth. This occurs because nerves and blood vessels to the penis that run in the gutter between the prostate gland and the colon are damaged. Scar tissue from surgery often builds up. Together, this damage can reduce blood flow to the penis, cause erectile dysfunction, and lead to disuse atrophy and penile shrinkage.

SOLUTION: Resuming sexual activity as soon as possible after prostate surgery will help “rehabilitate” the penis and prevent disuse atrophy. There are a number of effective penile rehabilitation strategies to get “back in the saddle” to help prevent disuse atrophy, including strengthening the male pelvic muscles and using a high-quality vacuum erection device.

5) You Have Low Testosterone

Low testosterone can lead to penile atrophy and shrinkage. It’s just a fact. We hear about the need to increase testosterone levels all the time, but did you know that many men have to purposely reduce testosterone levels as part of their prostate cancer treatment? Androgen Deprivation Therapy is a common means of suppressing the male hormone testosterone, used as a form of treatment for cancer. Because testosterone is an important hormone for maintaining the health and the integrity of the penis, the low testosterone levels resulting from such therapy can result in penile atrophy and shrinkage.

SOLUTION: This is a tough one. Because of the resulting low testosterone levels, most men have a diminished sex drive and simply lose interest in sex and “use it or lose it” becomes challenging. Furthermore, some men on this therapy have already had a radical prostatectomy and or pelvic radiation therapy, so often have compromised erections even before using androgen deprivation therapy. Some of these men are able to maintain erections and prevent penile shrinkage by using a high-quality vacuum erection device. There are many effective natural solutions to combat low testosterone, including our SupporT Natural Testosterone Booster.

handsome and healthy man in 50s wearing white sweater standing in from of a white brick wall

Maintain Your Health & Sexual Performance

Regardless of the size of the manhood, you are given at birth, you can improve your sexual health and performance over the course of your life. As men age, our sexual function diminishes, but we can fight these changes. First and foremost, engage in healthy lifestyle habits, stop cigarette smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and avoid weight gain. Second, maintain a healthy sex life, use your penis, keep it from shortening and shrinking. Finally, do your research, get the facts, and find the best products on the market to help you with your sexual health journey.