What Causes Penis Shrinkage?

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Some of us are growers, and some of us are showers, but all of us are affected by shrinkage caused by cold temperatures, weight gain, aging, and a multitude of other causes.

It's never fun to feel self-conscious about our body, especially our penis, but the good news is, most cases of penis shrinkage are temporary or reversible.

1. Weight Gain

One of the most common causes of penis "shrinkage" is weight gain. In this case, the penis doesn't really physically shrink, but it is perceived as being shorter because your body is bigger. In many cases, the fat on the groin can overlap with the length of the penis, which can make it look shorter.

Weight gain is difficult to avoid, but not impossible. If you're overweight, you can take steps to be healthier and lose weight. This will likely help your penis look bigger and more proportional to your body. It's also possible to change your diet and exercise habits to make sure you're not gaining weight in the first place.

2. Cold Temperature

When the air temperature around us drops, our body naturally tries to protect itself from cold temperatures by reducing blood flow in certain areas. This is why you might notice your nose or fingers turning red or feeling numb in the winter. The same thing can happen to your penis, which can lead to a shorter penis when exposed to the cold.

This is the primary reason why shrinkage occurs in the winter. In the summer, on the other hand, our bodies have an easier time keeping our temperature up, so shrinkage is unlikely to happen.

The good news is that shrinkage caused by the cold isn't permanent. Simply bundle up or turn the heater on, and you'll find that your penis returns to its normal size.

3. Aging

This is another big one. As we get older, our testosterone levels drop. This makes it more difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. In fact, if you are 40 years old, you only have about half of the testosterone you had at age 20. That is why it's so important to keep your testosterone levels in check, eat healthy and balanced meals, and exercise.

Penis shrinkage from aging can be slowed down by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While you might not be able to naturally produce the same level of testosterone, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating right, and taking vitamin supplements.

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4. Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease can cause a curvature of the penis and shrinkage of the erectile tissue. It occurs in the "elastic" tissue of the penis, which gives the organ its elasticity. The tissue may harden and shrink, causing a bend or curve.

It's typically caused by injury or trauma to the penis, but it can also develop after an infection. It can also be the result of surgery to treat an aneurysm, a condition that causes a bulge in a blood vessel.

In extreme cases, the curvature can cause painful erections and make intercourse difficult or impossible.

5. Smoking

Smoking causes erectile dysfunction and can lead to shrinkage if you are a heavy smoker. Even if you have quit smoking or have never smoked, the tar and chemicals that build up in your body can still affect your sexual health.

Smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The nicotine in cigarettes releases adrenaline, which constricts blood vessels. Smoking also causes plaque to build up in your arteries, which narrows the vessels and reduces blood flow.

Frequent smoking can damage the elasticity of the blood vessels in your penis. This damage can cause shrinkage. Smoking also damages the blood vessels and nerves that supply the erectile tissue in the penis.


Penis shrinkage is caused by a multitude of reasons, but the good news is the majority of those reasons are impermanent or fixable. One of the best things you can do for your health is to stay in shape, have a healthy weight, and avoid excessive smoking, alcohol, or other drugs. Penis shrinkage caused by smoking or drugs is often reversible when the habit is stopped. For men who are overweight or obese, losing weight can help restore penis size and can help many other health-related problems.

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This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.

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