Dear Dr. G,
I am not the sort of guy who complains all the time, especially with my private parts.
OK, I admit it. My manhood is not exactly enormous, compared with the sort of sizes I see on the Internet.
I was contented with what I had, as my “little brother” had served me well throughout the years.
I am married with two grown up kids. And my wife has been reasonably satisfied with bedroom matters (I think), until recently.
I am 52 years old and over the last two years, I have noticed my penis is shrinking with age.
I initially thought it might be due to my paranoia and that it was just all in my mind.
I confess, I have not been exercising and put on a bit of weight. But I did not think these things are connected.
Lately, my wife also commented that my “willy” has shriveled and looks emaciated, that’s when I started to get self-conscious about the little chap.
I went to see the doctor, who was a bit dismissive. He thinks I should stop smoking and exercise more but I am not convinced (those were the reasons for my problem).
I would like to put Dr. G on the spot about the mystery of shrinking manhood.
Why am I being shortchanged? What are the reasons for the contraction?
Can the shrinkage be reversed? Can surgery help? Can you help?
According to a study in the British Journal of Urology, the average size of a penis is reasonably “standard” and not dependent on race although many men (and women) would fiercely dispute that based on “experience” or “observation”.
The average flaccid length of a penis is 9.16cm, with a bit of stretch (and imagination); the flaccid length extends to 13.24cm on average.
The erect penis, on the other hand, is measured at 13.12cm (with no room for stretching!).
Some men claim the girth to be (more) important. The urology study also revealed that average circumferences of flaccid and erect penises were 9.31cm and 11.66cm respectively.
Indeed, the penile sizes vary amongst men with various states of arousal and temperature.
However, men who are dissatisfied with their manhood tend to be more obsessed with the variation of sizes and texture of their pride and joy.
Although some of the perceived reduction in size may due to the tricks in the mind, studies also support the facts that penises and testicles do shrink with age, especially for those who are putting on weight.
The impact of lower testosterone and the lower metabolic ability of men with advancing age, tend to cause the narrowing of penile arteries due to the process of arthrosclerosis.
Other studies support the idea that penile shrinkage may be associated with the build up of scar tissues of the spongy erectile tissues, which could be caused by many years of sexual activity and “overuse”. (But this is not definite.)
Personally, I don’t subscribe to the latter view.
In fact, I concur with some studies suggesting that the retraction of penis occurs due to under utilisation of one’s manhood.
Obesity-associated retraction of the penis is well recognised. For a man with a protruding beer belly due to weight gain, the penis will naturally appear smaller, instead of shrunken.
As the penis is attached to the abdominal wall, the poor fellow tends to be pulled inward, as the belly expands. Hence, regular exercise and weight loss tends to restore it to its former glory.
Chemicals from cigarette smoking have also been identified as a culprit to the shortchanging of men.
A 1998 study from Boston University examined erect penises from 200 men, and unearthed that the smokers have shorter erect penises, compared to the ones who did not smoke.
Another study in Britain also supported the finding that smoking affects a man’s ability to maintain and sustain erections. Hence the penis is naturally shortened regardless of any state of arousal.
Apart from cigarettes, some medicines are also identified to be manhood-unfriendly. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are noted to cause marginal shortening of the penis according to some publications. However, such observations are not universally agreed upon.
The poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou once said: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you cannot change it, change your attitude!”
The change of appearance and physique as we age is a fact of life. Although it is often difficult to reverse the process, the way we live our lives clearly has an impact on the rate of deterioration.
Lifestyle-related problems such as smoking and obesity do affect one’s manhood.
When Dr G is put on the spot by men who are shortchanged in their manhood, his advice is: If you don’t like the shortchange, change your lifestyle.
If you still cannot change that, change your attitude towards the poor fellow, or change the direction you look!