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What Causes Penis Shrinkage: Everything You Need To Know

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > What Causes Penis Shrinkage: Everything You Need to Know
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on May 01, 2023

Did you know that the average length of a human penis ranges between 5.1 and 5.5 inches when erect? A flaccid penis, in contrast, is usually around 3 inches in length.

Whether you are average or even above average, there is always the chance that you could experience penis shrinkage. For most men, the thought of this is a nightmare, especially since it is often correlated with erectile dysfunction as well. 

However, what causes penis shrinkage in the first place? Is it always permanent? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?

If you're asking yourself these questions, you've clicked on the perfect article to find your answers. In this article, you'll be able to discover what penis shrinkage is and how it connects to erectile dysfunction, what might cause it, and what you can do to keep it from getting any worse. To start off, let's first take a look at one of the main reasons why the size of a penis might shrink: age.

How Can Age Affect Penis Shrinkage

Everything starts to slow down as a person ages, and sexual wellness, unfortunately, is no exception. You should keep in mind, however, that slight differences in the size of the penis over time are nothing you should be concerned about. Small deviations may have something to do with a bit of extra weight gain since weight can end up covering part of the shaft of the penis.

On the other hand, if you notice a significant loss in size, then you may be dealing with more serious matters. For example, as people age, both men and women, fatty deposits start to build up within the arteries. This fatty buildup is often associated with heart attacks since, in severe cases in which the fat occludes a blood vessel, heart attacks and strokes can occur. 

You should keep in mind, however, that slight differences in the size of the penis over time are nothing you should be concerned about.

These fatty deposits start to form in our youth, but they may not worsen as long as a person maintains a healthy diet as well as good exercise habits. However, since many people don't always exercise or eat as well as they should, the worsening of these fatty deposits is almost always inevitable. As your blood vessels become clogged, it will be harder for the blood to travel through your body and deliver the oxygen and nutrients needed.

For this reason, certain systems in the body start to slow down. This is one of the reasons why penis shrinkage and erectile dysfunction happen. Fatty deposits not only clog up the blood vessels throughout the body but also the vessels within the penis. 

Since the penis relies on blood flow to achieve an erection, the chances of suffering from ED increase with age. Even when flaccid, there will not be much blood flow to the penis, and the penis will become smaller and weaker. 

How Can Injury Affect Penis Shrinkage

Many men have no idea that injury or trauma to the penis can affect its size over a period of time. Fortunately, most of the time, minor trauma to the penis will not cause permanent damage to the penis. As long as the blood in the body is able to travel through the penis as normal, there should be no problems in terms of penis shrinkage. 

However, those who play sports and those who have received an injury to the penis several times in a lifetime may be at a higher risk of developing more severe complications. Even minor injuries can build up over time and become serious problems later on in life. This is because scar tissue can begin to form within the tissues of the penis, and the blood vessels in the area may also become damaged. 

There are two main tissues that compose the penis: the corpus spongiosum and the corpus cavernosum. These tissues are unique because they are very spongy compared to normal muscle. Because of their sponginess, they are able to fill with blood when the penis becomes erect.

These tissues can also hold onto the blood supply so an erection will not immediately vanish. As you can imagine, if these spongy tissues become damaged for any reason, there will be severe consequences in a man's ability to get and maintain an erection. Damage to these tissues may also contribute to penis shrinkage. 

If the tissues within the penis are confined by scar tissue or a poor supply of blood, there is a chance that the size of the penis will shrink, especially the erect size. This is because the scar tissue and lack of blood flow will limit the size the penis will be able to attain. 

If the spongy tissues of the penis become damaged for any reason, there will be severe consequences in a man's ability to get and maintain an erection.

Weight Gain and Penis Shrinkage 

While the previous two reasons for penis shrinkage may be hard to treat or even permanent, penis shrinkage as a result of weight gain is almost always easily treatable. Everyone has undoubtedly gained some weight in their lives, and it usually is not that big of a deal. However, men may find that their penis may appear smaller as they gain weight. 

If you have had this happen to you, don't worry because there is no actual penis shrinkage going on. Instead, it all has to do with the illusion weight gain provides to the size of the penis. As men age, they tend to gain weight in the abdominal area. 

Abdominal fat has the most significant impact on the size of the penis because the penis itself is rooted in the abdominal wall. As you gain weight around the abdomen, the fat will actually expand around the origin of the penis, and the root of the penis will pull inwards into the abdominal wall. In this case, the size of the penis is not actually shrinking but rather hiding. 

Depending on how much weight you gain in the abdominal area, you may notice an inch or even several inches of length lost from the penis. The good thing to note is that the so-called penis shrinkage associated with weight gain is easily reversible. All you have to do is lose some weight. 

As you lose weight, the rest of the penis's shaft will be able to remerge from the buildup of fat around the abdomen. The original shape and size of the penis will be unaffected. But you should keep in mind that obesity is associated with blood flow problems such as diabetes and heart disease, which can ultimately affect the size of the penis as well as erectile dysfunction. 

The good thing to note is that the penis shrinkage associated with weight gain is easily reversible. All you have to do is lose some weight.

Prostate Surgery and Penis Shrinkage

Every biological male has a prostate, but most men don't know that problems with the prostate can cause significant shrinkage of the penis. As men age, prostate problems become more and more common, and regular prostate examination sessions become essential. This is important to ensure that prostate cancer does not develop. 

However, in the case that the prostate does become cancerous, it may need to be removed in a prostate treatment known as a radical prostatectomy. Some men who get this surgery to remove a cancerous prostate do not experience any shrinkage in penis size. Even so, the majority of men who get this surgery do experience some degree of shrinkage. 

Researchers do not yet know exactly why penis shrinkage seems to be so strongly correlated with this type of prostate surgery. There are various theories as to why this might be the case. For example, after the surgery, the muscles in the groin may start to contract abnormally and eventually cause the root of the penis to contract slightly into the body. 

Another theory is that the penis shrinkage, in this case, has to do with the shortening of the urethral tube. The urethral tube originates in the bladder and flows through the prostate and through the penis. It allows urine and semen to exit the body. 

However, since part of the urethral tube is removed along with the prostate, this shortening of the urethral tube may have something to do with the shortening of the penis. Some men also experience erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. This may be because of a buildup of scar tissue around the area or because not enough oxygen can be delivered through the blood. 

Peyronie's Disease and Penis Shrinkage

Peyronie's disease is a condition that involves the buildup of dense scar tissue along the length of the penis. This scar tissue may occur as the result of repeated injury to the penis, such as during sports or sex. The scar tissue develops in such a way that it causes the penis to curve abnormally. 

Most penises have a natural curve to them when fully erect, and a slight curve is nothing to be concerned about. However, if you notice that your penis has a severe curve and that the curve is painful, you may be dealing with Peyronie's disease. Peyronie's disease seems to affect a small percentage of older men. 

Peyronie's disease is characterized by painful erections, the inability to get an erection, as well as penis shrinkage or differences in shape. The scar tissue within the shaft of the penis is not as flexible as the rest of the connective tissue within the penis or within the rest of the body. The scar tissue is actually fibrous enough to be palpated and may become as hard as bone. 

Those with Peyronie's disease may find that the shape of their penis has twisted upward, downward, or to the side. The abnormal curvature makes sexual intercourse difficult even if an erection is achieved. Because of how this condition can change the shape of the penis, it can also affect the length and even the girth. 

However, some men may not experience any changes in the length and girth of their penis as a result of this disease. Fortunately, many cases of Peyronie's disease go away on their own. For cases that don't go away with time, it may be necessary to visit a doctor and have the scar tissue surgically removed. 

Smoking and Penis Shrinkage

There was once a time when anyone and everyone smoked cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and so on. Today, only a small percentage of people still smoke cigarettes regularly. Some studies have found that men who smoke cigarettes have a shorter penis length on average compared to men who don't smoke. 

Why might this be, you ask? It all has to do with how the chemicals in cigarettes affect the body. Some of the chemicals in cigarettes can actually damage blood vessels over time. 

As mentioned previously, damage to blood vessels in the body can have severe consequences for penis size and the ability to get an erection. The more damaged the blood vessels are, the more difficult it will be for blood to flow to the penis as it should. Even if smoking does not damage your blood vessels, it still can constrict the same vessels and make it harder for blood to flow properly throughout the body.

More than that, besides making it more difficult for blood to flow into the penis and stay in the penis to maintain an erection, smoking also seems to make it more difficult for the penis to stretch to a larger size. This, of course, has direct implications for the length of the penis. 

Everything You Need to Know About Penis Shrinkage

You should know everything about penis shrinkage and why it happens by the end of this article. Depending on what causes your case of penis shrinkage, there may be plenty of treatment options for you to try. 

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.