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12th Jan 2022

Man’s penis ‘shrank more than an inch due to covid’

Covid can reduce penis size by damaging blood vessels

A man has claimed that catching Covid resulted in his penis shrinking by an inch-and-a-half – almost 4cms.

The anonymous male, who shared his story on the podcast “How to Do It”, said the lasting effect of the virus has damaged his self-confidence. Before catching coronavirus, the 30-something American said his penis was above average in size and doctors have said it won’t return to normal.

Urologists say “Covid d*ck” is a real phenomenon, whereby the penis can reduce in size due to damage to blood vessels, and a study by the University College London supports this. A study of 3,400 people found that of 200 reported long-covid symptoms, a smaller penis was one, albeit a small one.

Almost five per cent of men suffered a “decrease in size of testicles/penis”, according to the findings published in The Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine, and around 15 per cent reported sexual dysfunction.

The man told the podcast that he caught covid in July 2021 and was “very sick”. After being released from hospital, he explained that he started experiencing erectile dysfunction.

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“Those gradually got better with some medical attention, but I seem to be left with a lasting problem,” he said.

“My penis has shrunk. Before I got sick, I was above average, not huge, but definitely bigger than normal. Now I’ve lost about an inch-and-a-half and become decidedly less than average.”

The man went on to detail that the shrinkage, he was told, was down to “vascular damage, and my doctors seem to think it’s likely permanent”.

“It shouldn’t really matter, but it has had a profound impact on my self-confidence in my abilities in bed,” he told the podcast.

Ashley Winter MD, a urologist in Portland, US, and associated with Kaiser Permanente, told the same podcast that penile shrinkage after covid is a domino effect of erectile dysfunction.

“It is true that having erectile dysfunction leads to shortening,” she explained.

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

“And that’s probably what you know your caller is referring to now.”

Men are only at risk of a smaller penis if the cause of their erectile dysfunction is physical, Dr Winter said, such as cancer.

Dr Winter said when Covid enters the endothelial cells of the blood vessels found in the penis, it can prevent proper blood flow, making erections more difficult.

She went on to tell the caller that his problem could be helped through a variety of therapies, but also urged him to accept his body as it is. “Penis length doesn’t define somebody. And the vast majority of the time dissatisfaction with penis length is really self-driven and not partner-driven.”