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Do Steroids Shrink Your Penis, Too?

I know what they do to your testicles, but do they also take your dong down a size?

During one of my student reporting gigs in Northwestern’s graduate journalism program, my student-reporter friend Kate secured an invitation for us to attend the Chicago Bears media day at training camp and conduct some player interviews. As she pulled her vehicle into the assigned media parking area — which was the exact same lot that the players made use of — I was struck by what seemed like an endless array of giant Escalades. 

“They’re probably overcompensating for having tiny dicks,” scoffed Kate. “Probably from all the steroids.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Granted, we didn’t have a single shred of evidence that any of the players were taking steroids, but it’s always fun to presume that the only way someone could ever get that much bigger and stronger than you is via chemical enhancement. 

Does steroid use actually shrink your penis?

As entertaining as it may be to think that someone who is abusing steroids will pay mightily for using a chemical cheat code to bypass genetic limitations, steroids will not shrink the size of a man’s penis.

Actual penis length and girth is determined by several factors, but the most influential determinants of penis size are the genes inherited from your parents, combined with several hormonal factors that occur in utero and during puberty. Suboptimal nutrition during formative years has also been cited as a cause of a smaller-than-average penis, along with low testosterone during puberty. However, a surge of post-puberty testosterone administered through steroid use will result in neither a commensurate boost nor decline in penis size. 

So while an individual in possession of an undersized unit may turn to muscle-building as a compensatory move to offset any perceived inferiority — and ultimately hurl steroids into the mix — they won’t affect the size of a penis one way or another.

Aren’t steroids known to shrink the testicles, though?

Yep, they can absolutely shrink your testicles if they aren’t used with precision, and sometimes even if they are. 

The reason steroids can transform your tennis balls into marbles is because your testes are naturally intended to produce testosterone when it’s required for use throughout your body. When an artificial and abnormal abundance of testosterone invades the body via steroid supplementation, the testicles recognize that their services are no longer necessary and halt their testosterone production. As a result, they shrink. However, this is usually reversible within a month if steroid supplementation has been well-managed. On the other hand, if steroid supplementation hasn’t been managed responsibly, testicular recovery may take longer, or it may never occur. 

But again, the penis itself isn’t a barometer for the presence of testosterone in the body. So while the testes may shrink or replenish their size in response to steroid use, the penis is unaffected.

Well, the thought of it was fun while it lasted. Anything else I should know? 

Nope. At the very least, I figured I could make a long story short.