Can a Penis Get Smaller Permanently?

When you need to worry about shrinkage

A man measuring his penis length
Stephan Zabel / Getty Images

Many men worry about penis size, particularly if their penis appears to become smaller over time. The reality is that flaccid penis size may have little or nothing to do with erect penis size and, of course, penis size has absolutely nothing to do with masculinity. But, nevertheless, it is true that your penis may shrink as you get older, usually for completely benign reasons.

Why Do Normal Penises Shrink (Or Appear to Shrink) with Age?

It's true—your penis may get smaller as you grow older. The penis has been known to shrink a little as time goes on as a result of decreased blood flow and testosterone.

Sexuality professionals say that as a man approaches his 60s, he may actually lose from a centimeter up to a centimeter and a half in penis length.

Some men also gain weight in the belly area as they grow older and, as a result, their penis can appear smaller without it actually being smaller. This is because excess belly fat can flop down and extend out over the base of the penis, making it appear shorter.

Research has also shown that long periods of impotence or celibacy can result in some loss of size to the genitals. This is something men are more likely to struggle with as they age, though there are many men who grapple with erectile dysfunction even at younger ages. 

Medical Reasons for a Shrinking Penis

Outside of normal passage-of-time effects, there are medical conditions that can result in a shrinking penis. Perhaps the most common of these conditions is prostate surgery, which very often results in penis shrinkage of about 0.5 inches for a flaccid penis and about 1 inch of a stretched penis.

Certain medications can lead to a shrinking penis. These include:

  • Adderall, typically prescribed for attention deficit/hypersensitivity disorder
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics, based mainly on anecdotal evidence
  • Dutasteride (Avodart), used to treat an enlarged prostate
  • Finasteride (Proscar), used to treat both an enlarged prostate and hair loss

How Can You Regain or Retain Penis Size?

Fortunately, most women don't care about size anyway and, in some cases, if the penis is especially large, it can cause discomfort in your sexual partner. So while the loss in length can be distressing, especially if you weren't expecting it, you should feel secure in the knowledge that there are so many ways to ensure a fulfilling sex life, and penis length doesn't even rank on that list.

That said, however, there are some basic tips for regaining or retaining penis size:

  • If you are overweight, lose weight. This will reduce the appearance of a shrinking penis.
  • If you are on medications, review them carefully to determine if any are on the list above. If so, ask your doctor about appropriate substitutions.
  • Exercise can actually help with penis size because it improves blood flow.
  • Drinking plenty of water can make a difference to penis size.
  • Avoid tight underwear and pants. When you constrict blood flow, you can actually reduce penis size.
Was this page helpful?

Article Sources