You are here:

Urology/Retracting penis


AnxietyRetraction wrote at 2008-01-15 05:02:49
I am healthy, 37, 5' 10" and 180 lbs (not overweight), and have a larger than average penis. I've experienced Penis Retraction occasionally over the last several years. For me it seems very related to anxiety. My anxiety symptoms and panic attacks became significant after I discovered my wife cheating on me. I have seen some mention of this anxiety/retraction correlation but it does not seem well known.

Mike wrote at 2008-05-01 17:16:27
I have had a problem with my penis shrinking but am in good shape and am not at all overweight.  One day my penis seemed to retract or pull back into my body and it has not been the same since.  

It's similar to when you jump into a swimming pool with really cold water, but that's how I am all of the time.  Has anybody else experienced this issue?  

I have trouble believing I'm the only one to experience this issue but no doctor seems to have an answer for me.  Any comments or suggestions are welcome!

helper wrote at 2009-07-01 05:03:32
ive had this problem for 2 years now

i found that whenever i was stressed or scared this would happen to me where my penis would shrink till only a nub was there

this happened when i was overly tired or anxious

when i got in fights or went running

when i found myself in uncomfortable situations

and sometimes when i smoked pot

i used to be scared when it happened

but that only made it worse

the best thing i found to do is relax

its just a "fight or flight" response

relax and think about something else

Dragalf wrote at 2014-12-11 13:47:26
What you describe is a psychosomatic reaction of your body due to anxiety. It is simply a normal physiological process that developed in human evolution. In dangerous situations our brain switches into a flight-mode. Blood is detracted from parts of your body, which are not needed now and your organism is preparing to flight. Another reason for the shrinkage of the genitals as a part of this physiological reaction is, that your body is "pulling in" the genitals to protect them in dangerous situations.

The problem is, that anxiety and fear can result from stress and panic in everyday life without real danger. Your brain doesn´t distinguish between "real" danger and psychic anxiety. After sensitive men experienced their penis "shrink" in a stressful or fearful situation, they might trigger their fear that this could happen again. They might start observing themselves and put themselves into a psychogene situation of anxiety. This makes the brain and the body react in the same way as described above. The gentials might "shrink", the anxiety might become stronger and the whole game might start again.

Understanding this circle is the way out. And it needs a bit of patience to escape...


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Arthur Goldstein, M.D.


Problems or questions related to the field of urology; ie urinary stone disease, urinary cancers (kidney, bladder, prostate, testis, etc.), urinary infections, etc. I no longer answer questions related to erection problems or male sexual dysfunction.


I am retired from the active practice of urology. My 34 years was totally in the clinical field and involved the entire gamut of genitourinary problems, with special interest in endourology.

American Medical Association, American Urological Association, American College of Surgeons

College degree - BS Medical degree - MD Master of Science - MS

©2016 All rights reserved.