What are the most common penile atrophy causes?
This article written by frequent site contributor David Jaynes lays it all out for you.
But I need to mention something before I send you over to David…
If you go through the list below and none of the 8 items apply to you, take a look at this article.
Inside you’ll find another common cause of penile atrophy that didn’t make the list.
Now here David…
8 Reasons Why Your Penis Is Shrinking
That’s right – your penis might very well be shrinking. It’s not a truth that a lot of men want to face, but there it is.
Here are the most common penile atrophy causes (aside from a cold shower).
As we age, our penises get smaller. It’s just a fact of life. For some reason, as men get older their testosterone levels naturally decrease and one unfortunate side effect is a smaller penis.
The reason your penis shrinks when your testosterone levels drop is pretty simple – testosterone (and other sex hormones) are key to restoring your penis.
Without regular restoration, your penis muscles start to atrophy (source).
A second consequence of lower testosterone as you get older is that your penis is less sensitive.
With less sensitivity, it’s harder to stimulate, which makes it more difficult to get an erection and oftentimes a worse erection when it does happen.
This is, of course, is on top of all the other downsides of having a low testosterone levels, including:
•Lower sex drive
•Higher blood sugar
•Weight gain and arterial hardening
•Disrupted sleep patterns
Officially called atherosclerosis, this is essentially the same process that happens in the arteries leading to your heart that cause a heart attack.
As you get older, plague builds up on the insides of your arteries. This problem is worse the less healthy your lifestyle.
That process doesn’t just happen in your coronary arteries though. It also happens over time on the tiny arteries in your penis.
With a smaller hole for the blood to go through, it takes longer to fill the spongy tissue with blood, which makes if more difficult to get an erection (source).
What’s more, as the buildup solidifies on the arterial walls in your penis, the spongy tissue in your penis isn’t so spongy any more, which means less blood gets trapped in this tissue, leading to a softer (and smaller) erection.
Stress, as I’ve mentioned, is terrible for your sex life, down to the very size of your penis.
High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, have a negative impact on your testosterone.
Because hormones are all about balance. When you’re a happy, healthy man, you’ve got some cortisol pumping in your system. It’s just that it’s in balance with all your other hormones.
However, when you are stressed out, your cortisol levels climb through the roof which means that your Leydig cells in your testicles get overwhelmed.
As a result, they fail to regulate everything down there that they’re supposed to; your NO production and synthase gets knocked out of whack, your testosterone production goes down, and your penis, well, dies a little.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to reduce your stress hormones, for example by using the herb ashwagandha.
Add penis atrophy to the long list of negative side effects of smoking.
The Boston University School of Medicine did a study of 200 men and found that smoking correlated with a smaller penis.
Another trial out of the same school found that smoking also causes erectile dysfunction, while quitting improves it (source).
And the reason, again, is pretty easy to understand.
Smoking kills your wood by damaging blood vessels and inhibiting blood flow – two things essential to getting the a hard on.
And while the researchers haven’t yet revealed the full measure of damage….
Given that this is the same effect that smoking has on the heart, and is the reason that smoking contributes to heart disease and heart attacks, I would assume the final number is going to make the smokers out there cringe.
When you’re going under the knife, there are always risks. But one risk of prostate surgery, specifically prostate surgery to treat prostate cancer, is a smaller penis at the end of it (source).
And doctors have not exactly been forthcoming…
The actual length lost varies study to study, but the Journal of Urology looked at 126 men who had undergone prostate surgery and found that on average, the men lost half an inch (1.3 cm) when they were flaccid and about an inch when they were erect.
What’s more, it seems like this is less of an unexpected side effect and more an expected outcome – another study found that 71% of patients reported some shrinkage.
The silver lining here is that there are two kinds of damage that are causing this, only one of which is permanent.
Once cause is damaged erection nerves, so the contraction nerves that you have hold more sway and thus contract a little more than they should.
It’s like if your penis always thinks its freezing cold. This damage will usually fade or go away completely over time.
The second reason is unfortunately permanent.
It happens because in addition to damaging the nerves, the surgeon damages the soft tissue as well. Then, as its healing, there are no erections (including night times ones) that help keep your penis fit.
The result is that without any erections while the soft tissue heals, it starts to atrophy, and will never quite recover the length it had (even after it’s fully healed).
As men age, their testosterone naturally drops, and they tend to develop a bit of a belly. This isn’t’ just laziness (although poor diet and lack of exercise certainly contributes).
As your testosterone drops, estrogen levels climb, your metabolism slows down, you don’t sleep as well and you experience more stress.
It makes weight gain far too easy – weight gain that sits around your belly.
Unfortunately, this kicks off a vicious cycle. As belly fat increases, so too does estrogen production, which further suppresses male steroid hormones like testosterone and DHEA.
Which, as you know, isn’t great for your penis size and testicular growth.
Foreshadowing is a side effect belly fat – but a very, very real one.
Foreshadowing is when someone’s belly fat (officially, their prepubic fat pad) pokes out over their penis, making it appear a lot smaller than it really is.
This can get so bad that there are some cases where the penis is all but buried in the layer of fat.
The good news though is that this is the easiest one of these problems to fix – hit the gym for weights and cardio, improve your diet and work to increase your testosterone levels.
Research has shown that your penis has a bit of a ‘use it or lose it’ mentality to health.
To have healthy, regular erections that are consistently hard and the same size, it’s essential to actually get an erection on a regular basis (source).
You remember how prostate cancer patients experience permanent shrinkage due to lack of use while their soft tissue is healing?
Well the same thing can happen to you, if you don’t get it up on a regular basis.
The goal here is to keep the soft tissue soft. Infrequent erections mean that the soft tissue hardens into collagen, reducing the ability to fill and trap blood and thus, get hard.
Penile atrophy isn’t a problem that most men want to think about. That said, it is a problem with some all too common causes.
Many of these, like low testosterone and belly fat contribute to a downward spiral of ED – lower levels of sex hormones generates weight gain and stress, which further reduces the right hormones and increases the wrong ones.
These problems need to be addressed holistically to solve them, working to naturally to increase testosterone and regulate hormone activity.
However, many other penile atrophy causes like arterial plaque, smoking, foreshadowing and lack of sexual activity can all be addressed independently and many with nothing more sophisticated than a lifestyle changes.
So what’s it going to be? Penile atrophy and a flabby gut, or hard wood and a great body?
I know which one I’d choose.
Article edited by Mark Wilson. Mark currently owns 5 sites in the men's sexual health niche and has published more than 5,000 articles and blog posts on dozens of websites all over the world wide web.