October 22

Does Low Testosterone Cause Penile Atrophy ?

(Guest Post Written By David Jaynes)

Penile atrophy occurs when the penis experiences a decrease in size.

The average size of an erect penis across all men is slightly more than five inches.

Guys have an average circumference of about 4.6 inches after achieving an erection. 

If your measurements are better than that, then congratulations – you’re an above-average man in this area! 

Knowing your measurements is one way to gauge if you experience penile atrophy.

Why Does Penis Shrinkage Happen?

Most guys experience penile shrinkage because of the natural aging process.

When fatty deposits start building up in the arteries, less blood reaches the penis during arousal.

This issue causes the muscles in the erectile tubes to lose their strength, reducing the number of firm erections produced.

It also causes the penis to be smaller when it is fully erect.

Scar tissue from athletic activities or trauma can accumulate on the spongy tissues of the penis to limit erection size and cause shrinkage.

Several additional factors can also play a role in penile atrophy for guys.

1. Being Overweight or Obese

Fat man

When men gain weight around the stomach, the penis starts to look smaller.

This issue happens because the penis attaches to the abdominal wall.

When the stomach expands, this forces the body to pull the penis inward, leading to a condition called penis foreshadowing.

That’s why losing a little weight can help guys restore their size to what they remember.

2. Prostate Gland Removal

Almost three-quarters of men who have their prostate gland removed experience penile atrophy.

Researchers are unsure of why this happens, but it could be due to the shortening of the tube that connects the penis to the bladder that occurs during the surgery. 

3. Peyronie’s Disease (PD)


PD forms when fibrous scar tissue starts developing inside of the penis.

Although this condition happens to guys more often as they age, it can happen to anyone who experiences frequent micro-injuries to this area.

The bending or curving that happens with PD can also reduce the circumference and length of the penis. 

This condition sometimes goes away naturally, but it often stays persistent or gets worse over time.

Typically, only surgery to remove the scar tissue can reverse the problem.

4. Smoking Cigarettes

man smoking

Guys who smoke cigarettes regularly have shorter erect penises compared to men who do not. 

The chemicals found in the smoke can prevent the penis from filling with blood, which stops it from stretching to a full erection.

Smoking may also trigger erectile dysfunction disorders, reduce the length of time an erection is maintainable, or prevent one from even happening (source). 

Cigars and chewing tobacco may have similar impacts on some guys, although the research into this area only focuses on cigarettes. 

5. Prescription Medication & Penile Atrophy

pile of medications

Some prescription medications list penile atrophy as a known side effect.

Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and Adderall are the most common drugs that guys that cause a penis to shrink.

Guys who suspect that this issue might be causing penis shrinkage should not stop their meds cold turkey. 

Many prescriptions require time to build up to a therapeutic level.

Quitting the regular dosage could cause other unwanted side effects, some of which could be potentially dangerous. 

If you suspect your meds are causing your penis to shrink, you should work with your doctor to get to the root cause of the problem so you don’t have to use the drug for the rest of your life.

6. Celibacy And Penile Atrophy


Guys who go a long time without having sex can experience up to two inches of loss in their flaccid length (source).

Erectile dysfunction issues may contribute to celibacy for some men, especially if they leave their ED untreated. 

Men who have sex frequently and then stop for an extended time still experience this issue.

When your goal is to be a great football player, you need to play the game a lot.

If you want to have fantastic sex, focus on foreplay and make love frequently.

Having sex only once per week can reduce erectile dysfunction risks by at least 50% (source). 

7. Tight Clothing & Penile Atrophy

Wearing compression apparel can help with blood flow concerns to specific areas of the body. 

Athletes often wear this clothing type because of how it assists with their athletic performance.

If you wear tight pants or underwear around your crotch area, circulation to the penile area gets restricted. 

That means a lack of blood flowing to that region, which will contribute to atrophy over time.

Tight bike shorts, combined with hardcore cycling can also cause penile atrophy issues.

Low Testosterone And Penile Atrophy?


Guys can experience penile atrophy if their testosterone levels are below average. It may also impact the size of their testicles.

Most men experiencing low testosterone levels see shrinkage in both areas.

Low-t can even cause the testicles to change from being firm to soft and somewhat squishy.

Although receiving testosterone supplements or treatments may help to restore the length and girth that gets lost with this condition, the testicles don’t see a return to their previous volume.

If young men determine that their penis size is below average at a young age, it may be possible to enlarge it with testosterone treatments.

It is even a practical treatment approach for those guys dealing with a micro-penis. 

That said, a much better plan for most men would be to work on increasing testosterone levels naturally.

When Do I Need to Worry About Penis Shrinkage?

The loss of length in the penis can be quite distressing for some men.

Fortunately, most partners don’t care too much about the size of a penis unless it’s unusually small.

Some may even welcome a little shrinkage, since especially large ones can be uncomfortable to accommodate!

The time to worry about this issue is if the shrinkage is significant or if you experience erectile dysfunction and penile atrophy simultaneously. 

This set of symptoms is a recipe that could indicate that your body is cooking up some heart disease.

If you feel out of breath, have trouble sleeping, or experience abnormal heartbeats with penile atrophy, you should see a doctor immediately about your symptoms.

One more thing before we move on…

Temporary penis atrophy may also be a sign of dehydration.

When you don’t get enough water to drink, your body releases an enzyme called angiotensin.

This enzyme causes the blood vessels in your body to start restricting which can temporarily shrink your flaccid hang.

This condition will also restrict blood flow to the penis during sexual activity, making it harder to achieve an erection.

What Could Be Causing My Low Testosterone?

Testosterone levels start decreasing each year after guys reach the age of 30.

This blog post lists the most common causes of low-t.

Although some men only lose a little, it can be a substantial loss for others.

Up to 40% of older guys may be dealing with testosterone levels that are low enough to trigger penile atrophy.

Anyone can be affected by low testosterone. Young men, children, and even newborns can encounter this problem.

For many men, stress is a major cause of the acquired circumstances that can lead to low testosterone. 

Several physical or emotional stressors from surgery, illness, relationships, or professional problems can cause hormone production to shut down.

Inherited conditions and diseases can also contribute to low testosterone levels. 

Guys might have a pituitary gland condition caused by small tumors or improperly functioning kidneys that trigger penile atrophy.

A condition that affects the hypothalamus called Kallmann Syndrome can trigger lower testosterone production. 

Guys with an HIV or AIDS diagnosis may experience low testosterone levels if the disease affects their testes, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland.

When the symptoms of the disease, illness, or condition start receiving treatment, guys may experience an increase in their testosterone levels.

That process can lead to a reverse of the penis shrinkage.

If you think you may have low testosterone, I suggest you download this (no charge).

Low Testosterone Issues Caused By Injury


Some guys experience penis atrophy and shrinkage because of testicle damage received during an injury. 

When men experience trauma to the testes, the physical circumstances limit the amount of testosterone the body products.

Guys who didn’t receive the mumps vaccine and contracted the disease can experience a similar outcome. 

Mumps is known to injure the testicles, even with a minor infection.

It is not uncommon to experience up to 50% atrophy when dealing with this health issue (source). 

Some inherited conditions can also cause low testosterone levels, such as undescended testicles or Klinefelter’s Syndrome.

Since these issues are present at birth, treatment options should start immediately.

A condition called hemochromatosis can also cause penile atrophy.

This issue happens when there is too much iron in the blood, causing the testicles to fail or causing damage to the pituitary gland.

This explains why most men over the age of 30 should donate blood at least twice a year, especially if you eat a lot red meat.

How to Treat Problems Penis Shrinkage

Most guys can start treating the issues they experience with penile atrophy by making some lifestyle changes.

For guys who are smokers, cutting out cigarettes from your daily routine can help to restore penis size as the chemicals work their way out of the body.

If belly size or weight gain contributes to the atrophy, losing a few pounds can restore the appearance of the penis.

Guys with a curvature or bend to an erect penis may need to speak with a doctor about an ultrasound.

Discovering the extent of scar tissue development can help to develop a treatment plan.

Medication-related issues with penile atrophy are often fixed with dosage adjustments or by switching to natural alternatives to the drug.

When low testosterone is the culprit of penile atrophy, guys must get to the root cause of the issue if they want to start the recovery process.

The first step is to increase your physical activity levels.

High intensity interval training and lifting heavy can both have a positive impact on hormone production.

Combining that movement with a healthy diet can often help to restore testosterone levels naturally.

Some men may need work hard to get off medications, especially prednisone or opioids to see improvements to their testosterone production.

Does Low Testosterone Cause Penile Atrophy-Conclusion:

Every situation is different for guys who believe that they may have penile atrophy issues to correct.

Some guys may need to try multiple solutions before they start seeing a reversal of their length and circumference issues.

Every man is a little different biologically.

Some men may not experience a reversal without drastic treatment protocols, while others might see restoration with a little weight loss and intense exercise.

Penile atrophy may be a part of the aging process for some guys, but it doesn’t always need to be that way.

When your concerns are directly related to low testosterone, it may be possible to treat the condition. 

About the author 

Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is an independent health researcher, fitness coach, author, and owner of several websites that teach men how maintain erections and boost testosterone levels naturally, without using steroids, drugs, or artificial hormones.

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