Xanet Scheepers
Digital Lifestyle Editor
3 minute read
23 Jan 2022
11:00 am

Experts say Covid-19 can shrink your penis after man loses 4 centimetres

Xanet Scheepers

Don’t stress too much though as “penis push-ups”, penis pumps and stretching devices can help you get your length back.

Picture: iStock

If you’ve had Covid-19 before you are probably familiar with the long-term effects the virus can have on your body, from fatigue and shortness of breath and difficulty breathing to memory, concentration or sleep problems.

According to a May 2021 study published in The World Journal of Men’s Health, the Covid-19 virus can also contribute to erectile dysfunction in some cases.  

But, one side effect you probably never thought could be remotely possible is losing a couple of centimetres down south after contracting the disease.

As crazy as that may sound, there are men who have come forward saying that they lost some length down there after having contracted Covid-19.

One such case was brought forward when a 30-year-old man wrote a letter to Slate’s sex advice column, How to Do It | Sex Advice with Stoya and Rick.  

He explained that he got very sick with Covid in July last year and that he had some erectile dysfunction issues after being discharged from hospital. While the problem did get better with some medical attention, his concern now is that his penis has shrunk.

ALSO READ: Use it or lose it: Why your penis shrinks as you get older

“I was above average. Not huge, but definitely bigger than normal. Now I’ve lost about an inch and a half (about four centimetres) and become decidedly less than average. It’s apparently due to vascular damage, and my doctors seem to think it’s likely permanent,” the man wrote.

Urologist Dr Ashley G. Winter, who was a guest on the show, explained that erectile dysfunction on its own can lead to a shorter penis, but that Covid definitely also plays a role.

“Performance anxiety related erectile dysfunction doesn’t lead to penile shortening because even if you get nervous and you lose your erection, your penis is otherwise healthy. The blood vessels in your penis are healthy, so when you go to sleep at night, you’re going to have nocturnal erections or you’re going to masturbate and have nice erections. So that is really important for the health of your penis to bring the blood flow in, to stretch it out. This maintains the length and girth and health of your penis,” she explained.

However, Dr Winter says someone who has erectile dysfunction after having had Covid is likely to have another type of erectile dysfunction called physical erectile dysfunction. This would be the same type of ED men suffer from after having had their prostate removed due to prostate cancer.

She adds that it is possible that men who have had Covid are not getting a full nocturnal erection.

“You have this period of time where the penis is not stretching itself out, where it’s not getting all the blood into it, and that can lead to scarring of the penis and shortening of the penis.”

Penile rehab can help for Covid-dick

All is not lost as Dr Winter says there are steps you can take to get your length back.

“There’s a really common concept of penile rehab that’s done for men who have had prostate cancer surgery so that they don’t lose length and have scarring during that period of erectile dysfunction,” she explains.

These ‘rehab steps’ help men get an erection so that they maintain their penis length once they have recovered.

She explains that a typical regimen would include starting on a medication like Viagra or Cialis to improve blood flow, and to invest in a penis vacuum device to do penis push ups.

Dr Winter stresses, however, that when using the penis vacuum, you shouldn’t put a constriction band like a cock ring at the base of your penis, only use the vacuum to suck blood into your penis to stretch it out.

She adds that penile traction therapy is another route you can take to get some of your length back.

The doctor says she usually recommends RestoreX to her patients. She explains that this device holds your penis in a stretch and can improve penile length by one to two centimetres with consistent use.