Men's Health Community
13.8k Members
Avatar universal

Shrinking Penis

I have posted here before, but I feel that I must be persistent.  I am 29 years old, and have been impotent for about 2 years now.  2 years ago, I was absolutely fine.  I could have sex as many times as I wanted to.  3 times a night would be no problem.  I woke up with erections, and if I didn't have sex I would masturbate in the morning and before I went to bed.  

It is a different story now however.  No morning wood.  No libido.  If I am able to get an erection it doesn't last long.  Visual stimuli has no effect, I have to use my hand and that doesn't work very well.  When flacid, my penis is smaller now.  The skin feels different--less sensitive.  I see veins where I couldn't see any before.  When I walk around, it feels like I don't even have a penis anymore.  It feels like nothing is there.  As a result of this I have lost my girlfriend, my confidence in life, and I think I am losing my mind.  Oral drugs don't help.  

I've been to urologists at an ivy leage teaching hospital. He basically said 'that's life' and showed me penis pumps.  I really don't know why I am typing this message, as I don't think there is anything anyone can really do.  I am beyond the point of losing hope.  I quite honestly do not want to live like this anymore.  

My only questions are:
a.  Why & how did this happen?
b.  Is there any way to fix it?

If you know a doctor, please forward this to him/her because I really need help.  Thank you.
378 Responses
173939 tn?1333217850
Until you find a doctor who will give you better advice, I can only say that I know of two men age 40 and 60 with similar symptoms. Both of them drink quite a lot of alcohol daily and one of them has also consumed tons of beef throughout life in an area where cows are still raised with estrogen. He also developed prostate problems. What I`m getting at is that you might have too much estrogen in your system or maybe it is a side effect of any medication. And, oh yes, anti-depressants will do that to you too. I hear your despair and you`re too young to beat yourself up about this for the rest of your life. Find a different doctor.
Avatar universal
I have the exact same condition that you have. Until now I thought I might be the only person with this problem because I couldn't find information diagnosing my symptoms. I'm 21 and about 3 months ago I noticed the change. Probably was happening gradually over a few weeks until I finally noticed. Like you, I no longer have morning wood. I have some libido, but not nearly as much as before the problem. When flaccid I'm much smaller now and I'm literally going crazy because it feels like I don't have anything down there. I am able to get an erection, but not nearly as easily as before. Also, they don't last very long and aren't as impressive. Measuring, I've only lost .25 inch in length but an entire 1.5 inches in girth when arroused! (I used to be pretty well endowed) I also can't get them from visual stimuli anymore. I've had blood testing done and nothing has indicated that I should have any problems. I am perplexed as to what caused/is causing this and am desperate for a solution. I have to literally try everyday to prevent it from making me go insane. I'm in college and I don't drink or go out much anymore because I feel so inadequate, and obviously my sex life is a joke now. I am scheduled to see a urologist in 3 weeks and am trying to stay optimist. I tried Viagra and it helped some, but is way too expensive to take everyday.  Not to mention that I think it is a little ridiculous for a healthy 21 year old to have to take it to have a functional penis. I am physically fit and exercise daily (have to in order to keep from getting anymore depressed about it). I have no idea what has caused this problem, but it needs to be fixed. I don't believe in suicide, but I doubt I can handle life much longer if this doesn't get fixed. I just can't enjoy things anymore. Please let me know if you find out any information on what's causing our condition, and I will gladly do the same. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hey man, just read your post.  I know this seems like more than you can handle right now but have faith that everything is going to be ok.  It's such a damning thing to happen because it's so mysterious.  Just try to relax because the more worked up you get about it, the potency you do have will be diminished by the stress you're putting on yourself.  I've been dealing with some of the symptoms you've described for about 6 months.  I'm 26 and thank God above that I have a woman that loves me for me.  One day at a time.  Don't think about the past or the future.  Live for today.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the support man. I'm learning to cope with it better, I just don't want to underscore how paniced I feel. It would probably be easier to deal with if had a girlfriend for support that didn't feel any differently towards me because of my problem. Too bad I didn't see this coming or I'm sure I would have been a little more eager to find one. You said you've had this problem for six months. Any ideas as to what is causing it or how to fix it? Have/are you seeking any treatment? I just think it would be alot easier to handle if I knew it could be treated and fixed.
Avatar universal
I know, if we could just know what spawned it on it might give us a little bit more piece of mind.  Mine happened when I was in Asia.  My penis just became very itchy and i put some cream on it.  Next thing I knew it was pretty lifeless with hardly any feeling of blood in the head.  I've had all the bloodtests and appointments with hotshot urologists.  I'm seeing one right now that is going to  do the Duplex ultrasound on me.  They think it's my prostate that's causing the mayhem.  I just want an MRI of my prostate and the duplex.  I know it seems like you can read, read, read and schedule all the appointments but u never come to a knowledge of anything.  I'm just glad it works.  It's not like it used to be but it works.  It has restored a little bit since asia.  It's not as rubbery and  unresponsive.  I've got to stay positive.  What's so bothersome is even flaccid it doesn't feel right.  I used to be able to flex that PC muscle and do penis "push ups".  Now it's just like the PC muscle is atrophied.  Maybe cuz of stress.  I don't know.  Just stay positive man.
Avatar universal
Alright man. Not that I want anyone else to have to deal with this, but it does make me feel better that I'm not the only one that has had to suffer from this bizarre condition. Well good luck with your next appointment. Hope it works out. Let me know if they figure out what's going on.
Avatar universal
OK Guy's, i found this thread by accident and i thought it would be important to reply. First off i want everyone to relax and stay calm and i don't want anyone to think about suicide, i suffered the exact same as you guy's did but no one to give me any kind of answers (i am only 24 myself). I have the answers you guy's need, so please let me explain my own story first.

When i was born, i was a healthy, young baby boy. However it wasn't noticed that i had an undescended testicle (right testicle) until i was 2 year's old. The testicle was brought down but this in turn caused the testicle to remain small and atrophied (dysfunctional). My left testicle took over throughout puberty and became large and fully functional. I went through puberty as normal but my left testicle gained a huge size (2/3 inches) to compensate for the other 'lost' testicle.

6 months ago i got an injury to my left testicle which caused a varicocele to form (enlargement/swelling of the veins), this in turn causes blood pooling issues int he testicle and over-heating to occur (along with abnormal hormonal parameters). Over a course of 3 months my testicle atrophied and my sperm count dropped. During this time i just didn't "feel right" (so to speak) and wasn't getting morning erections or having a libido. I had joint and muscle pains and all manner of skin changes occured (more so on my penis like you guy's - skin thinning, maybe a little dry at times). What had happened was a hormonal inbalance had set in and caused low testosterone (hypogonadism). Like you guy's my penis shrunk up really bad and my testicles were always very tight and didn't hang as normal.

Flaccid penis size is controlled by the free testosterone levels available in the blood. DHT (A hormone that gives us "all things male") has a large degree of control over the penilie tissues (the "elasticness" of them for example). The Testosterone to estrogen ratio controls how "hard" your erections get and if this got knocked out (due to lack of testosterone for example) then getting erections will be tough and your flaccid penis will hang alot smaller and lifeless at times.

Morning wood is an indication of the correct ratio of Testosterone to Estrogen (E2). Lack of morning wood in almost all cases means either excess estrogen or low testosterone.

Imagine the flaccid penis like a balloon. When there isn't enough testosterone in the blood to support it "shrinks" up. You guy's need to be aware that unless you live with this for like 4/5 year's the penis dosen't "actually" shrink and lose tissue (it's already developed muscular tissue) but just shrinks up into itself.

You WILL get your penis size and erection ability back when you get your hormones in order.

So how did you develop this condition? Well there are 3 forms. Primary Hypogonadism which means testicular dysfunction (caused by tramua to the testicles - hernia, varicocele, mumps, hard kick, etc) and secondary which indicates a problem with your piturity gland not sending out enough messages to keep your testosterone level high. Central Hypogonadism is a problem with both the piturity gland and the testicles (this is rare).

Secondary hypogonadism can indicate a piturity tumour or be brought on from head tramua. An MRI is needed and frequent blood work to elevate (generally secondary will be indicated by low LH/FSH in the 1/2 range).

A normal testosterone level of 23nmol (or more) is required for sperm production and normal male functioning, anything lower (even if your doctor "claims" you are normal) isn't.

Low testosterone can lead to high estrogen which in turn can cause prostate rated problems (prostitis for example).

If you are overweight or have stomach fat you most likely have higher levels of estrogen which again cause erection problems and smaller flaccid penis size.

I will monitor this thread and will answer any questions you guy's have.

Avatar universal
Thank you so much man. I can't tell you how much better I feel. The urologist I saw a month ago gave me Androgel 5mg packets to use once a day bc my T-level was only 356. Low-Normal range but still low for a 21 year old right? My mood has improved substantially since (I don't get depressed/irritable much anymore). However, my penis is still small flaccid, my libido is still low, no morning wood, etc. (all the above symptoms are still occuring). For this reason I thought the diagnosis must have been wrong. I have been taking the Androgel for 3 weeks now and still haven't seen any improvement down there. I also still have a little excess belly fat that I never used to have (I work out alot and have always been skinier than most people). I also noticed that if I consume alcohol (even just a beer) it exascerbates the symptoms. Do you think the gel just isn't working? Or is it that I have too much estrogen? I'm scheduled to see another urologist in two weeks. Any suggestions. Again, thanks alot. I really appreciate the feedback.
Avatar universal
No problem, i am here to help.

You have mentioned a few thing's that are important for me to point out. First off we are both of similar age and i also got prescribed androgel. The problem is when you take Androgel it can (and almost does) shut down your own natural production (HPTA supression), so it dosen't work in a "suppliment" like fashion. In the long term this can have a negative effect on fertility and testicular size and can sometimes cause irreversible tissue and cell changes to occur in the testicles.

Because you have mentioned have you some excess body fat around your stomach this means you are most likely prone to having an estrogen problem (E2 - Estridol). High estrogen will lead to your penis retracting alot more and hanging alot smaller (getting erections will be more difficult). Free Testosterone and DHT are the most important hormones for penile tissue sensation and flaccid penis size. DHT controls the vascular blood flow and nerve function. DHT is converted from testosterone via the liver and is considered 5 times more powerful than testosterone. DHT can have negative effects on the prostate (PSA is a good gauge for this) and on male pattern baldness (but only if you are genetically prone to this).

The problem with androgel is that once it shuts down your own natural production, sometimes the gel isn't enough to even get you above your previous levels (300/400). What dosage are you using? Because you mention you have some body fat it's possible that this is causing absorption issues and most likely converting to E2 and DHT but not getting your total t or free t into good ranges.

Zinc is a good natural inhibitor of estrogen and can stop the conversation of testosterone into estrogen in the liver. I advise taking the following suppliments:

ZMA (1 tablet daily)
Vit E (800iu daily - get the gel capsules this helps with vascular function and prevents penile fibrosis)

I have since stopped all TRT (Androgel, Tesim, etc) as i had my varicocele fixed and i am going to run HCG which is an LH analogue to regain testicular size and hopefully function. I advise anyone on TRT to use HCG alongside to help with libido, mood and fertility. If your testicles are capable it can double (if not more) your natural testosterone production. This is injected 3 times weekly while on androgel (or a similar topical gel) to prevent testicular atrophy/shrinkage and the constant "tight" scrotum you get while on TRT.

Make sure you get the following tests done on your next blood work out:-

Total T
Free T (or Bioavailable)
SHGB (high SHBG usually means high E2)

Feel free to ask any other questions!
Avatar universal
I meant to add that it would be wise to stop alcholol consumption while on TRT because it will cause an instant estrogen problem and your penis to shrink really bad (trust me - i have experienced this myself).

Did the urologist give any reasons why your testosterone was low for your age? Do you have a history of testicular tramua (varicoceles, hernia, mumps, etc)? Did your testicles atrophy?
Avatar universal
Thank you. You have been most helpful. The urologist didn't know why my testosterone levels were low. All he said was he didn't think it was  my pituitary. He did a physical examination of my testicles as well and there was nothing wrong there. I honestly have no idea what is causing the imbalances and it's bothering me a lot. Any ideas? I'm thinking about stopping the TRT. I am on the 5mg androgel gel. It helps my mood, but I don't want to further complicate my condition if the androgel isn't even fixing the problem. Is that a bad idea? I take a daily vitamin (Men's One a Day, Vit. E 45 IU, Zinc 15mg). Is that enough for my zinc and vitamin E? Should I start taking HCG? Will that fix the problem?
Avatar universal
The problem is if your piturity is playing up you need to find out why. Unlike testicular disorders this isn't something that will fix itself over night or in fact at all in most cases. You need an MRI done to check for any piturity problems (tumors, mis-alignment, head injury, etc).

If your LH/FSH are low then you could try a PCT style restart however if you have actual physical defect of your piturity gland then the likelyhood is that you will need TRT for life.

Do you have your blood results at hand? I would be interested in evaluating them and will be able to offer some extra advice.

Are you testicles normal size 1.5/2inches in length? Have you suffered any testicular atrophy at all (shrinkage)?

HCG is an LH analogue so it 'emulates' (though in a more potent form) the LH signals sent from your piturity gland. Most guy's that suffer from secondary hypogonadism find that HCG daily is enough to support normal testosterone levels and function. Injection is done with a small insulin needle.

Do you have any history of head injury or in fact testicular problems (varicoceles, hernias, mumps,infection, a hard kick, etc)?

I recommend Vit E in capsule form at 800iu daily. Zinc at 30mg.
Avatar universal
My testicles are still about 2 inches in length, but have atrophied a little since starting TRT. I just realized that when I was about 15 I had surgery to remove varioceles in my scrotum. Not sure if that has anything to do with this. However, I'm still leaning towards pituitary since I have no history of testicular trauma and they are of normal size. The urologist also didn't see anything wrong with them when he examined them. I don't have my blood test results on hand, but I will email the doctor to get them. I will buy the Vitamin E and Zinc supplements. Should I continue the TRT even though it isn't fixing the problem? I'll send you the blood test results when I get them. Thanks again for everything.
Avatar universal
I am curious to know if there is any kind of link between the varicoceles you had removed and your current situation. I received an email from another guy that had varicoceles surgically repaired about 5/6 years ago and now has low testosterone. His testicles were also not atrophied.

Which operational procedure was used for repairing the varicoceles and were they bi-lateral (both testicles) involved? Did you get varicocele embolization?

Even though your testicles are normal sized it's possible that leydig cell fibrosis could have set in and resulted in leydig cell death. This might explain the lower level of testosterone but i cannot be sure. When i see the blood results i will be able to tell you better. It's just 'too' unusual for someone with a previous history of varicoceles to induce low testosterone almost over night.

Regarding your testicles, do you feel like they change weight/size or density (sometimes 'soft', other times 'hard') throughout the day? Have you noticed any scrotum skin changes?

With the exception of having your penis 'shrunk up' while off TRT, what other symptoms do you have?

If you feel the TRT makes you feel a little better i would stay on it. I would however get another set of blood test's run while on TRT to re-evaluate your blood levels and again repost them here and i will help you figure out a better protocol.

HCG is crucial if your testicles are still functional and very potent. In some cases of primary testicular failure it can induce a cell reversal/regeneration process and in most cases return your testicles back to normal (this is my own intention). I plan on running 250iu HCG daily for 6 weeks until inter-testicular testosterone levels and serum testosterone level is restored. I will continue to run Nolvadex for 4 weeks to restart my HPTA. This should resolve the varicocele situation but it's difficult to say if this will work in a piturity based problem.

Which country are you from and how is your health care system?

Avatar universal
Not sure what procedure was used to remove the vericoceles.  I'll see if I can find out. All I know is that I have a small scar on my scrotum from when I had it done. I have not noticed any changes with my testicles or scrotum other than that my testicles have atrophied slightly since starting the TRT. Other than having my penis 'shrunk up', my symptoms include low libido, no morning wood, depression, irritability, lack of motivation/confidence, increase in abdominal fat, loss of muscle, and lack of energy. The TRT has improved my mood (I'm less depressed and irritable), but for the most part has not resolved any of the other symptoms. Although better on the TRT my penis is still 'shrunken' relative to how it used to be.

Still waiting to receive the blood tests from the doctor. Hopefully I'll get them soon. Will post them once I do.

I'm a U.S. citizen with access to good healthcare.
Avatar universal
Please post your blood work when you recieve it, i am intrested in figuring this one out.

Have you ever used hair loss drugs such as proscar or propecia?
Avatar universal
Never used hair loss products before. I don't have a family history of early hair loss in men either. Here are my blood results before starting androgel, looks like the urologist ignored the FSH. Let me know if you need anymore information...

FSH 1.4 mIU/mL (OUT OF RANGE: range = 1.5-8.0 mIU/mL)
LH 2.7 miU/mL (in range)
Prolactin 7.4 ng/mL (in range)
Testosterone Total 374 ng/dL (in range)
Alkaline Phosphate 79 U/L (in range)
AST 21 U/L (in range)
ALT 13 U/L (in range)

Avatar universal
Also, is it possible that it could be a prostate related problem as the one guy who posted before suggested?
Avatar universal
Thanks for posting up your results. Your LH seem's low. A normal LH is around 3/4. This in turn could be causing the low test levels.

Being low is a good indication that your testicles might still be working, but you like you said yourself could also point towards your piturity being the problem.

The fact you mentioned no atrophy is a sign that the varicocele might not be to blame but unless you get a proper test then it will be difficult to out rule.

You could try running a course of Nolva/Clomid on a daily basis to see if your testicles are capable of producing higher levels and see how you feel.  Nolvadex Targets estrogen at breast tissue and parts of the brain. This in turn leads to a higher LH output and a higher testosterone level in return. The problem is when E2 is brought down to low this can cause problems (as can high E2).

A nolva test would be able to tell if you have a testicular or piturity problem based on the percentage of increase you get in total T from using 20mg a day. It's pretty straightforward with minimal to no side effects.

Can you still feel the varicoceles at all? Do they cause any kind of discomfort or problems beside the low t?
Avatar universal
Yes, I'm pretty sure its the pituitary. I have no history of testicular trauma, no sign of varicoceles, and my testicles were above average in size before starting the androgel. I have a few questions... Since I'm on adrogel and am still having sexual dysfunction/abdominal fat, do you think my problems are being caused by high E2? If so, would the androgel contribute to this at all? If it is indeed my pituitary that's causing the mayhem, will I need to get an MRI? Should I wait until I see the urologist to start nolva? Thanks again.
Avatar universal
It's possible you have high E2 but also possible that you just don't respond well to androgel. Some people end up with a lower level than previous.

How bad is your sexual function at present? You could try taking "DIM" from ritecare this is good for lowering E2.
Avatar universal
Yes, I've been wondering if maybe the androgel just isn't raising my T-levels. As far as my sexual dysfunction goes, it's still pretty bad. I haven't really noticed a difference since starting androgel. Penis is still shrunk up and desensitized, difficult to get/maintain erections, no spontaneous erections, no morning wood, low libido. Thought maybe testosterone just wasn't the problem before, but now I'm thinking the androgel just isn't raising my T-levels any. I'm thinking about stopping and seeing if I notice any difference. Do you know how long I will have to be off of it before I would be able to notice (or not notice) a difference? If I have high E-2 when I get tested next Friday, what would most likely be the cause?
Avatar universal
In reading your comments back and forth, I wonder if I am experiencing the same problems. Back in high school I measured over 8 inches, now I believe I would be 6.5 or smaller. I do have a swollen vein on top of my sperm chord which has been ultrasound and physically inspected by two doctors. No one has ever told me my penis would shrink. I still get morning erections often, but it is hard sometimes to stay erect during sex with my wife. I also would measure pretty well in how large my testicals are, although they might be smaller than before also. I have put on some weight over the years, but read that you only lose 1 inch per 100 lbs.. I have only gained around 30 lbs. or so. Please help me with any info. you might have. If this isn't reversable, then I might see about penis extension surgery. I am having surgery to remove the vein, but if it doesn't fix the problem, then what's the point? Thanks for your time!
Avatar universal
It sound's like you have a varicocele but this doesn't mean you have low testosterone. Weight gain in itself will lead to higher estridol/E2 levels so working out a little and loosing the gut is always the best step before looking into medication.

You never mentioned your age, how long you have had this varicocele and such like. Ask your doctor/GP for a hormone profile the same as i listed above.
Top Men's Health Answerers
1622896 tn?1562364967
London, United Kingdom
139792 tn?1498585650
Indore, India
11369760 tn?1449504372
Southwest , MI
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Sean Cummings discusses which available erectile dysfunction treatments may have the best outcome for you
They got it all wrong: Why the PSA test is imperative for saving lives from prostate cancer
10 prostate cancer misconceptions debunked.