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Urology/Stress and penis


QUESTION: Hello doctor Leslie,
Can chronic stress, anxiety and depression have a negative affect physical affect on the penis? Shrinkage, loss of girth etc? Secondly, could avoiding erections lead to decline in size of penis?


Depression and anxiety issues can certainly affect performance but are not likely to change the physical size or characteristics of the penis. Avoiding erections also does not usually change penis size as nocturnal erections still occur during sleep whether you want them or not.

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QUESTION: Thanks doc, to put it a different way, is it possible to stretch out the foreskin? If yes, to what extent?  Does age do that? I am 40 and it feels like I have so much more skin on my penis when flaccid, it's constantly bunching up. I also have small bilateral hydroceles, do they cause skin to stretch out? They are the size of slightly smaller ping pong balls. Thanks again, doc.


The foreskin may or may not stretch much in adults. It happens more easily in kids.  If you think there is a problem with the skin on the penis, have a urologist check it.

Small hydroceles are actually normal and will not stretch the skin.  


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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