Disuse Atrophy is a medical term used to describe the condition of loss of normal healthy tissue and worsening function after a prolonged period of lack of use. This condition applies to all organs. This is especially an issue with a male sexual dysfunction such as ED because the longer the disuse the greater the chance that proactive measures will not work, or treatments can take much longer to show positive results. When atrophy of penile tissue occurs then the elastin and smooth muscle can shrink, creating at best a loss of length and girth and at worst lack of response to ED treatments. (What is ED?)
For those who have had a radical prostatectomy, a surgical procedure used to treat prostrate cancer, an actual shrinkage of the penis can occur. Urethral reduction and the associated scarring in the region of surgery can compound or cause erectile dysfunction. Rehabilitation of the organ is necessary to prevent disuse atrophy.
Causes of Penis Atrophy
Other conditions can cause penile shrinkage, like:
- Peyronie’s Disease
- Cycling, Horseback Riding, Saddle Sports
- Stress or Nerves
- Exposure to Cold
- Over-strenuous Exercise
- Obesity (can cause ‘apparent loss’)
- Prostate surgery
There are also indications that the ‘memory’ portions of the brain need at least occasional stimulus to act at optimum levels. The hypothalamus is thought to be the area of the brain that regulates thirst, hunger, sex and other functions. As we age the neuroplasticity (or malleability) of the brain, that helps us compensate for certain disorders in the body, begins to decrease. The central nervous system and peripheral nervous system control the functions of the body and like a car or even computer require some degree of maintenance.
Aging can also cause men to experience a loss of sexual function. Aging also plays a part in the reduction of the penis size since some shrinking of the penises —and testicles—will occur over time as well. One reason, for example, in an older male reduced blood flow to the penis could occur due to buildup of fatty deposits that could mean fewer firm erections or make it difficult to achieve an erection altogether. 50% of men begin to experience ED by the age of 40 and this can increase by up to 10% each decade. Research studies (and just plain common sense) dictates that the more your utilize a function the longer you can maintain and regulate its performance. Frequent and vigorous sexual activity is the best cure for disuse atrophy or penile atrophy; to perform, some men need a ‘kick-start’ and there are a variety of effective treatments available to prevent this progressing health condition. To get the best response from pills and treatment, and avoid degradation or disuse atrophy, it’s best for any man who is experiencing penis shrinkage to stop the procrastination and act soon.