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The Scientific Reason Exercise Gives You a Small Penis

There's only so much blood in the body, and working out redistributes it away from the little general.

When men exercise, they may temporarily experience shrinking testicles and a small penis, sometimes referred to as a gym dick. Don’t fear. A slightly smaller penis is a short-term effect. And although it may not make locker rooms any more comfortable, gym dick is nothing to be concerned about. Plus, any testicle or penis shrinkage occurs evenly, maintaining normal proportions, which science says is the main indicator of an attractive penis. Still, the question remains: Why does working out make your penis small?

“It all has to do with blood flow,” Dr. Richard Honaker, a physician and chief medical officer at Your Doctors Online, tells Fatherly. “When working out, the body sends blood to the muscles and joints, thus reducing the amount to the penis and scrotum. There is nothing to worry about and nothing to do to prevent it.”

Now, news that exercise temporarily shrinks your package should not incentivize a sedentary lifestyle — and that’s not just because your overall health should be a greater priority than the size of your penis. Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist and professor at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, explains that men who don’t exercise tend to develop a fat pad over their penises. That can take years of hard work to get rid of — far longer to get rid of than any residual loss of length from vigorous exercise. 

In the long run, exercise could, in an indirect way, make your penis larger. “I always tell my patients that, for every 10 pounds you lose, you could see another inch of your penis,” Brahmbhatt told Fatherly.

Honaker agrees. “It is more important to exercise regularly than to worry about a temporary loss of penis size,” he says. 

The more fit men are, the more efficiently blood moves throughout their bodies, the less they’ll notice any changes in penis size as a result of physical activity, Brahmbhatt adds. So if your penis and testicles are shrinking during workouts, it might be a sign that you’re not hitting the gym often enough.

And for men who work out regularly and still experience a slight shift, what you lose in temporary size, you gain in stamina and cardiovascular health. “The stronger your heart, the stronger your erections,” Brahmbhatt says. 

How Exercise Makes Your Penis Small

(And why you shouldn’t worry about it.)

  • When you work out, the body sends blood to the muscles and joints.
  • It also sends blood away from areas that aren’t helping you exercise — like your penis and testicles.
  • The effect is temporary, and the more you work out, the less drastic the shrinkage.
  • Oh, and for every 10 pounds you lose, you could see another inch of your penis.