From Gourds to Gerkins: Penile Shrinkage

Written by: Dr. Joshua Gonzalez

With the start of October, and Halloween just around the corner, our minds shift almost willingly to celebrating spooky season. We snuggle up with popcorn to watch our favorite horror movies and scare ourselves silly for the temporary adrenaline rush that a haunted house provides. But what if we told you there was something even scarier to a man? Something far more horrifying than ghosts, ghouls, and goblins combined.  It’s called: Penile Shrinkage! 😬

Ok so it may not be the boogeyman, but I’m sure it's almost every man’s worst nightmare to have their penis shrink right before their eyes. That being said, as men, we have all experienced temporary penile shrinkage. We’ve all taken a cold shower and had our gourd looking more like a gherkin when we stepped out to dry off. Most penile shrinkage is temporary: a cold shower, a dip in the pool, or a blustery breeze can turn our prick from a plantain to a pickle. It is normal. But there is also a type of penile shrinkage that is permanent 😱. But what are the causes of permanent penile shrinkage and what can be done about it? Popstar is back with the tips (and so much more than just the tip) on penile shrinkage. 


With how penis-obsessed men are, you would think there would be a ton of research on penile atrophy, but alas, there isn’t. Maybe men don’t even want to think about it, even in the name of science! What we do know is that there are a few external causes that contribute to penile atrophy.

One of which is prostate surgery. Studies show that a prostatectomy can lead to shrinkage and is most noticeable 4 to 8 months post-surgery. Both girth and length can decrease by up to 20%. Something far scarier than Halloween and Friday the 13th combined.

There are also certain diseases that can contribute to shrinkage. Peyronie’s Disease can be attributed to penile atrophy and shortening. Peyronie’s is a condition where fibrous scar tissue develops on the penis which can lead to curved, painful erections, and of course, shrinkage.

Weight gain is also said to cause penile shrinkage, but it could just be an optical illusion. One could argue that the penis doesn’t get any smaller, just less of it is exposed. Fall is a difficult time to struggle with your weight. From pumpkin spice-flavored everything, to the endless amounts of Halloween candy, it can be hard to not indulge. If you think that you may be experiencing penile shrinkage due to your weight, maybe say no to that extra Twix for the sake of your dick.

Radiation and hormonal suppression are directly linked to penile atrophy as well. Hormonal suppression is a treatment used to stop the production of androgens, a hormone that can fuel prostate cancer cell growth. A significant decrease in penile length was reported in men who were treated with both radiation and suppression to combat prostate cancer. However, further studies need to take place in order to determine if radiation and hormone suppression alone can cause shrinkage, as the data collected was from men who were treated with both.

Treatment and Prevention

Now that we know the potential causes of penile atrophy, what can be done about it? The treatment can be tricky as the most effective options are the most invasive, and costly. Cosmetic implants have been used to try to increase the length and girth of the penis, but these surgeries are not without risk. There is also the potential for a much less invasive option, penile filler. The same filler used to plump your face and lips can be used in your penis to increase size, but this mostly affects girth. To learn more about penile filler, check out our article here.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent penile atrophy. As aforementioned, weight gain can lead to potential shrinkage. Monitoring diet, regular exercise, and controlling the consumption of alcohol can help with weight making sure your gourd has room to grow.

Having regular checkups and keeping in contact with a healthcare provider is always recommended and can help monitor the signs of penile shrinkage. After all, keeping open communication with your doctor can ensure that the only thing long and hard about this autumn is you.