Dear Dr G,

Thank you in advance for answering my concerns that have bothered me for quite a while.

I am a 55-year-old male who is generally fit and healthy. Apart from the usual problems of being overweight, going bald in the crown, and waking up to pee at night, I don’t suffer from any other medical issues.

I have a healthy sex life and engaged in sexual activities about once a week.

In recent months, I started noticing changes in my manhood. I am reasonably certain my erect penile length had shortened by at least 2cm.

Even my wife noticed sex life is not how it used to be and commented on the “short-changed”.

I went to see the doctor, who was a bit dismissive. He said there is no such thing as penile shortening, and I am just too sensitive.

I would like to put Dr G on the spot and find out the truth about penile shrinkage. Is this a fact or a myth?

What causes men to notice their pride and joy to be shortened?

Is there anything I can do to recover my manhood to its former glory?

Please help, I feel compromised.


Penile size is variable amongst men, and can be quite an obsession for those who are “compromised” to start of with. Most studies show that neither race nor ethnicity has unfair advantage when it comes to the size of their manhood, despite some quarters claiming upper hand over the others. In recent years, the reporting of penis shrinkage is widespread amongst men in medical literature. And no particular race is spared with such observation.

Penis shrinkage is observed primarily in men in the late forties, which are explained due to several causes. As men get older, more plaques are observed to accumulate in the vessels. This is thought to interfere with the circulation and resulted in shrinkage. Another microscopic detection of scarring is also observed in the fibrous sheathe that surrounds the chambers of the penis. The reasons behind the plaques and scarring are speculated to be due to the decrease in the levels of testosterone and previous traumas during sex. The changes over the years can be associated with slight decrease in the length and girth of penis.

Obesity is another reason why men notice that their penis appear to be shortened. The accumulation of fatty tissues in the lower abdomen can cause the penile shaft to be hidden in the abdominal fat. Of course, overweight also precludes the blood flow to the penis, contributing to the compromise in erectile rigidity.

On a more serious note, prostate cancer operation is well known to cause shortening of the penis. In one study, three months after radical prostatectomy, 70% of men experienced a shortening in penile length that can be more than 2cm in reduction.

Several medications are also noted to be associated with penile shrinkage in some men. These include antidepressants, antipsychotics, prostate shrinkage drugs and medications to reverse hair loss. Although the reporting of the association is anecdotal, it is widely accepted that the manipulation of the male hormones caused by the drugs may result in the alteration of the penile length.

Many lifestyle changes have been advocated to prevent penile shrinkage. Some studies suggest frequent sexual activities and masturbation to promote circulation in the penis to prevent shrinkage. Other suggests the use of exercise and weight loss to reduce stress on the groin area and enhance circulation. Lastly, some may even advocate the use of long acting PDE5-I to get daily erections for the prevention of shrinkage.

A Canadian American psychotherapist who is well respected for his work in the psychology of self-esteem once said: “The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance!” With the advancing age, we observe changes in their bodily shape and sizes. For most men (and women), the awareness of the bodily changes as part of aging would naturally lead to acceptance. When Dr G is put on the spot by men resisting the acceptance of penis shrinkage, his response is: “Awareness of short-changed is the first step, second is to use it and not to lose it!”

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