Do steroids shrink your penis? How to use them correctly!

Do steroids make your penis small? Yes and no. Well, it can, but it’s unlikely.

I’m going to tell you:

  1. Why it can actually increase your penis size,
  2. Why sometimes steroids might cause pseudo-shrinkage and
  3. Under which circumstances it might shrink your penis.

Before we can talk about the potential negative impact steroids might have on penile shrinking, I should mention what the normal size is. We have 3 sizes. Flaccid hang, stretched length and erect length.

Based on a 2023 meta-analysis which compiled the data of 75 studies published between 1942 and 2021 and included 55,761 men: (R)

  • Flaccid length: 8.70cm (3.4 inches)
  • Stretched length: 12.93cm (5.09 inches)
  • Erect length: 13.93cm (5.48 inches)

Steroids and the size of the penis

Sympathetic overactivation and penile shrinkage

Testosterone stimulates the release of dopamine (via AR activation) and increases dopamine-β-hydroxylase (which creates noradrenaline) (R). If someone is overmethylating, they will create an excess of adrenaline from noradrenaline.

Excess stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (such as during anxiety or stress) will constrict the penis and shrink the flaccid hang.

This doesn’t affect erect size, only flaccid. Often times men want to mainly increase their flaccid hang, and when the flaccid hang shrinks, they think they’re getting penile shrinkage.

In most cases, testosterone will help against anxiety and stress and actually enhance flaccid hang, but in some people, it might have the opposite effect.

“Boosting testosterone makes me anxious.” Here’s why

Testosterone and DHT and penis growth

Androgens, namely testosterone and specifically DHT, are crucial for penile growth during development and puberty.

There is a condition called micropenis, where men didn’t have enough testosterone or DHT during development, thus leading to suboptimal development of the penis.

Micropenis is treated with testosterone injections, topical DHT (R) or even oxandrolone (Anavar). Interestingly, it’s much easier to fix micropenis if treated before puberty, than after (R).

HCG and gonadorelin can also work, but testosterone and DHT are the most effective (R).

In adulthood, the penis can also shrink.

In most cases, this is due to a drop in testosterone #1 with age and #2 the use of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as finasteride.

#1 The penis can shrink with age

Testosterone and DHT play an important role in:

  • The maintenance of penile tissue structural integrity, such as the corpora cavernosa and tunica albuginea.
  • Penile smooth muscle growth and function. Loss of smooth muscle will lead to vasogenic ED where the blood isn’t retained properly in the penis.
  • The integrity of the penile nerve fiber network,
  • The signaling pathways in the corpora cavernosa (NO, cGMP, cAMP, etc.)
  • Myogenic and adipogenic differentiation in the corpora cavernosa. Meaning, androgens make sure that stem cells in the penis are converted to smooth muscle cells instead of fat cells. Read here in the estrogen section why that’s important.
  • Physiological penile response to stimuli (Visual, psychological and physical stimuli)

Loss of smooth muscle with age

In other words, low testosterone can lead to veno-occlusive dysfunction (R). This is when there isn’t enough smooth muscle in the corpora cavernosa to expand properly and compress the vein exporting blood from the penis. This prevents a proper erection.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help to restore the loss of smooth muscle tissue in the cavernosal tissue and restore erection (R).

Loss of smooth muscle tissue will reduce the ability of the penis to expand and shrink the volume of the erection.

Thus, androgens protect against penile shrinkage.

Loss of tunica albuginea function with age

The tunica albuginea is the fibrous envelope that extends the length of the corpora cavernosa penis and corpus spongiosum penis.

The tunica albuginea, which determines penile length when erect, becomes less elastic as we age (R).

As we age, the amount of stretchable elastin in the tunica albuginea decreases and more collagen forms. This shrinks the erect penis. Androgen deprivation causes the loss of most of the elastic fibers; which are replaced by collagenous fibers (R).

#2 Finasteride can shrink the penis

Common side effects of finasteride include penile shinkage, diminished ejaculatory volume and force, and an increased incidence of Peyronie’s disease; the latter of which may be mediated by a decreased effect of DHT on male genitalia (R).

This is because finasteride lowers DHT and DHT is responsible for creating new blood vessels and optimizing penile smooth muscle. A drop in DHT induced by finasteride causes vascular abnormalities and loss of smooth muscle tissue (R).

In summary, androgens are crucial for penile health and size. If testosterone and DHT drop, the penis shrinks. As long as you use testosterone and do not block DHT production, your penis should not shrink.

AAS and the size of your penis

Penile enlargement is commonly reported anecdotally with the use of steroids (R).

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) include testosterone and all other type of steroids that have anabolic and androgenic effects regardless of the dose used. Most people, when they do a steroid cycle, use more than one compound. Usually, it’s testosterone combined with Deca, Oxymetholone, Primobolan and some Tren for good luck.

These synthetic anabolic steroids have a much higher risk of side effects compared to testosterone only.

Although steroids are great for adding muscle mass and even boosting mood and confidence, they can have side effects.

A few side effects of anabolic steroid use include:

  • Shutting down the body’s natural production. Over time, this reduces testicular size, leading to smaller testicles.
  • Excessive growth of body hair, although not everyone sees this as a side effect.
  • Endothelial dysfunction due to reduced arterial elasticity (R, R). This predisposes men on AAS to high blood pressure. As a side note, optimizing testosterone improves vascular health, blood flow and arterial elasticity. Steroid abuse can have the opposite effect.
  • Erectile dysfunction. ED is one of the most common side effects of AAS (R). As a side note, testosterone improves erectile function (R).
  • An increase in oxidative stress (R). Even testosterone in high doses (500mg) might cause oxidative stress, but more long-term research is needed (the study only looked at the effects of 1 dose) (R).
  • Causing oxidative stress in the genitals and reducing Leydig cell number (R). Abusing steroids long-term can lead to the destruction (permanent damage) of most of the Leydig cells in the testes unless strong anti-oxidants are also taken.

Although AAS might contribute to ED, high-dose testosterone (>600mg/w) appears to be protective of erectile function during use. However, ED and low sex drive occurred more frequently after discontinuing testosterone, particularly among those with more frequent and long-term use and for longer durations and using additional substances such as anti-estrogens, 17-alpha-alkylated hormones, cutting agents, or other AAS (93%) (R).

To PCT or not for penile health

Men who use post-cycle therapy (PCT) are less likely to suffer from AAS-related side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and low libido (R). Common PCT consists of estrogen blockers (Clovid, Nolvadex, etc.) and perhaps HCG.

The faster you can get normal testosterone levels as well as DHT back to normal after a cycle, the better.

But it’s also a good idea to use testosterone during your cycle (it’s protective to the penis) as well as antioxidants to protect against the oxidative stress the other steroids can cause.

Will erections come back after steroids?

One of the most common side effects of steroid users and those that quit is erectile dysfunction. A lot of men report that while on steroids, they have a high libido, but often struggle with sexual performance.

The risk of ED all depends on what you used, at what doses, for how long, what your diet looked like and what other toxic burdens you had on your body (heavy metals, sleep apnea, alcohol, smoking, etc.).

As long as you optimize your diet and lifestyle, you’ll likely be able to maintain or retain optimal erections.

In terms of diet, focus on animal-based foods (milk, meat, organ meat, eggs, etc.), avoid inflammatory foods (e.g. A1 casein, gluten, lectins, etc.) and anti-oxidant rich foods (grass-fed animal foods, fruits, vegetables, etc.)

In terms of lifestyle, optimize your sleep, activity, and sun exposure, and avoid excess alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc.

If everything has failed for you thus far, consider shockwave therapy. It’s been shown to make men responsive to Viagra again and even help men get off Viagra. It works primarily by promoting the growth of new blood vessels in the corpora cavernosa.

Read more about shockwave therapy for ED here.⚡

One of the most common AAS to induced ED is Deca Durabolin. One of the main reasons why is because it’s an agonist to the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). Too much estrogen signaling contributes to ED.

How to make the penis bigger

The best way to prevent the penis from shrinking is to prevent testosterone and DHT from going to the hypogonadal range. A PCT will help with this.

When it comes to micropenis, testosterone and DHT (even Anavar) can help to lengthen the penis. However, after puberty, this because significantly less effective (R). I’ve seen quite a few anecdotes of men putting DHT on the penis for a couple of months and seeing penis enlargement of 0.5 to 1 inch in length and girth.

Penis pumps have been shown to have the potential to promote penile growth.

Combining testosterone and human growth hormone (to increase IGF-1) is more effective than either alone based on this animal study (R). GH is important because it increases IGF-1 and IGF-1 boosts 5-alpha reductase and DHT production. IGF-1 is also anabolic and will help with penis growth. A growth hormone deficiency is one of the more common reasons for micropenis.

Summary: 3 reasons how steroids can cause penile shrinkage

Low testosterone and DHT will likely cause penile shrinkage.

Penile enlargement is a common anecdote amounts AAS users.

#1 After AAS use, if testosterone doesn’t come back to normal, then this might lead to penile shrinkage. Because this new state of low testosterone will resemble aging-related hypogonadism.

#2 Some people might experience penile “shrinkage” which might only be a smaller flaccid hang due to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

#3 Actual shrinkage might be possible if DHT production is blocked by finasteride and/or the steroids causes too much oxidative stress in the penis, destroying smooth muscle tissue in the corpora cavernosa and elastin in the tunica albuginea. 

Natural testosterone boosters or male enhancement pills will never be able to have the same side effects as injecting yourself with an external source of testosterone or other steroids. They will just boost your natural hormone levels. But they also don’t have the same hypertrophy benefits ofc.

💣10 most important fundamentals for high testosterone 💣

>1000ng/dl Testosterone: My Step-by-Step Guide on How I Do It Naturally!

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