Can a Penis Get Smaller Permanently?

When you need to worry about shrinkage

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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. Nevertheless, it's true that your penis may change length, usually for completely benign reasons.

Appearance of Penis Shrinking With Age

Your penis may look smaller as you grow older—due to decreased blood flow and testosterone in the region—but it's just the appearance of shrinkage. Multiple studies have confirmed there's no link between age and length of a flaccid penis.

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 Causes of Penis Shrinkage

Outside of normal passage-of-time effects, there are certain health conditions that can result in shrinkage. Perhaps the most common of these conditions is prostate surgery, which can result in losing up to 2 inches of flaccid length.

Certain medications can also lead to a shrinking penis, including:

  • Adderall, typically prescribed for attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Antidepressants and antihypertensives
  • Avodart (dutasteride), used to treat an enlarged prostate
  • Proscar (finasteride), used to treat both an enlarged prostate and hair loss

Regaining or Retaining Penis Size

Fortunately, most partners don't care about size anyway and, in some cases, if the penis is especially large, it can cause discomfort for the other person.

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.
  • Physical exercise can actually help with penis size because it improves blood flow throughout the body. However, specific penis exercises may cause damage.
  • Drinking plenty of water can make a difference in penis size.
  • Avoid tight underwear and pants. When you constrict blood flow, you can actually reduce penis size.
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