Exposure to cold water or air can restrict blood flow to a man’s nether regions, leading to penis shrinkage.

Wondered why your penis has shrivelled and ‘’disappeared’’? If you came into contact with cold weather or dipped your hand in ice cold water, Do not fear, as it has nothing to do with you or your manhood malfunctioning.

According to Medical Daily, it is a common experience, known as penis shrinkage. It’s your body’s fight-or-flight responses for when you’re cold, but why and how does it happen?

Similar to an erection, when the penis grows; it can shrink sometimes. The Harvard Health Publications have found that “The flaccid penis varies in size and blood supply within any given man. Exposure to cold temperature, either from water or air, affects blood circulation to the penis. This leads to a narrowing of the blood vessels, known as vasoconstriction.”

So next time your partner wants to know why your penis has decided to back away into its shell, you can assure her that it’s just science and not you; as vasoconstriction causes the spongy erectile chambers(corpora cavernosa) to become less swollen with blood, making them smaller.

Dr. Aaron Spitz, an urologist, who appeared on an episode of The Doctors, explained penis shrinkage is the body’s way of protecting you when you’re under stress.

“We have these nerves called sympathetic nerves, which respond to stress and they protect us when we’re under stress. Cold is a stress and when our body feels cold those nerves kick in shunting all that blood out of our fingers, our toes, our penis,” he says.

But fear not: It will be able to expand to its usual size, once the blood begins to flow again.

Sources: Medical Daily, Harvard Health Publications

Alice Paulse