Marketers claim that extenders, vacuum devices, pills, and lotions can increase penis size. However, there is little evidence to suggest these treatments work.
Penis size is a common source of anxiety. It has fueled a multimillion-dollar penis enlargement, or male enhancement, industry. These include supplements, lotions, devices, and surgery.
However, there is no proven way to increase penis size, and some methods may have adverse effects.
This article will look at the types, effectiveness, and side effects of penis enlargement methods. It will also discuss average penis length and girth and when a person may wish to see their doctor.
A note about sex and gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
Many males seek treatment to increase their penis size. However,
Various manufacturers claim that products, including pills, creams, and stretching devices, can increase penis size. Some people also consider surgery.
However, the Urology Care Foundation points out that none of these methods work.
Surgery may help a person with a condition known as micropenis. However, it can be risky and is not certain to improve sexual satisfaction.
Here, we look at the evidence for various penis enlargement methods.
Traction devices aim to increase the length of the penis by stretching the penile tissue. A person places a weight or small extending frame on the flaccid penis to gently lengthen it.
Several studies have investigated the effects of traction devices, with varying results. Some results
It is worth noting that the participants in these studies had a health condition, such as Peyronie’s disease, where there is a curvature of the penis, or prostate cancer.
In most of these trials, participants wore the devices for 4–6 hours a day. In one, they wore the devices for 9 hours a day.
The evidence concerning traction devices is, however, limited. Determining their safety and effectiveness will require more research, and the Urology Care Foundation currently does not support their use.
A vacuum device, also known as a penis pump, contains a tube that fits over the penis. Pumping out air creates a vacuum that draws blood into the penis, causing it to swell.
People usually use vacuum devices to treat erectile dysfunction. No scientific evidence suggests that they can increase penis size.
Learn about the best pumps for erectile dysfunction.
Pills and lotions
Various pills and creams promise to increase penis size. They usually contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or hormones.
However, there is no scientific evidence that any of these products can increase the size of the penis.
In fact, tests have shown that some of them contain harmful substances such as pesticides, lead, animal feces, and E. coli.
Learn more about if supplements can help manage erectile dysfunction.
Jelqing is an exercise where a person repeatedly pulls the nonerect penis with their thumb and forefinger. It aims to stimulate blood flow, which may increase penis size during an erection.
As with other methods, it may help a person feel more comfortable with their penis. However, it is unlikely to increase in size. Possible adverse effects
Learn more about jelqing and other penis stretching exercises.
A number of surgical options can boost the appearance and possibly the size of the penis.
Injecting fat cells
Penile augmentation involves injecting fat cells from elsewhere in the body into the penis. The aim is to increase girth, or width.
This can add an
However, possible side effects include:
- swelling and distortion of the penis
- disfigurement and scarring
The graft can also lose
The frame, which is biodegradable, uses substances derived from tissue cells.
The suspensory ligament anchors the penis to the pubic area and provides support during an erection.
In this surgery, the surgeon
However, cutting the ligament can lead to a lack of support for the penis during an erection. This can make penetration difficult during sex.
On average, suspensory ligament release can increase flaccid penis length by
The American Urological Association considers penile augmentation surgery neither safe nor effective.
If a person has high levels of fat in the lower abdomen, removing fat through liposuction
It can increase a person’s self-esteem. However, they will need to follow dietary and exercise recommendations to prevent the fat from returning.
Who should have surgery?
The medical community only deems surgery necessary if a person has a condition called micropenis. This is when an adult has a penis of
Micropenis usually results from hormonal factors, and it can occur with some genetic conditions.
A doctor will start by prescribing hormonal treatment. If this is not effective, they may suggest penile reconstruction surgery.
- The average flaccid penis was 9.16 cm (3.61 inches [in]) long and 9.31 cm (3.66 in) in girth.
- The average erect penis was 13.12 cm (5.16 in) long and 11.66 cm (4.59 in) in girth.
The authors estimated that 5% of men have an erect penis longer than 16 cm. In another 5%, the erect penis would be shorter than around 10 cm.
In 2019, a
The average stretched penis measured 12.98 cm (5.11 in).
The authors of a
This is larger than average. However, the authors noted that these judgments may be based on inaccurate memories of previous sexual partners.
Other researchers have suggested that the size of a male’s penis is not the most important factor for females in determining sexual satisfaction.
Learn more about if genital size affects sexual compatibility.
The risks of penis enlargement interventions vary according to the method.
- distortion, swelling, and infection from surgery
- damage to penile tissue, which may lead to weaker erections
- a need to repeat the intervention to maintain girth, in the case of fat cell injections
- an increase in concern and stress if the person does not see improvements
- wasting money on products that do not work
Negative feelings about penis size can inhibit a person’s enjoyment of sex and quality of life.
Most penis enlargement methods do not increase penis size. However, the following tips may help prevent anxiety or enhance a person’s sex life without increasing penis size:
seeking counselingto help build self-esteem and correct distorted ideas related to body image
- trimming the pubic hair to make the penis look larger
- exercising regularly, which can help manage body weight and boost overall well-being, and may
help improveerectile function
- managing weight
seeking helpfor health conditions — such as depression or a heart condition — that may affect libido or the physical ability to be sexually active following a dietthat is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods and added fat and sugar
- sharing concerns with a partner
- trying new ways of having sex, such as engaging in oral sex or using sex toys during foreplay
If concerns about penis size affect a person’s quality of life, it may be a good idea to see a doctor. They can help decide if there is a health issue to address.
Excessive concern about penis size can lead to feelings of depression, sexual anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. The person may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection and experience a lack of sexual satisfaction.
Small penis anxiety
People with this condition are often so concerned that others will consider their penis to be small that they do not want to get undressed around people.
Penile dysmorphophobia disorder
A person with penile dysmorphophobia disorder (PDD) consistently underestimates the size of their penis while overestimating the sizes of those belonging to others.
PDD is a form of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
Body dysmorphic disorder
Males with BDD are more likely to have anxiety about their penis size and to seek treatment for penis enlargement than those without the disorder,
A person should see a doctor if they notice they are doing the following, which could be signs of BDD:
- worrying excessively about penis size
- having a frequent urge to compare with other people’s penises
- experiencing strong concern about a possible defect, which others may not notice
- feeling distressed about work, social life, or other aspects of life
- thinking about or attempting suicide
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Here are some questions people often ask about penis enlargement.
Can you really enlarge your penis?
Various methods and products claim to enlarge the penis. However, there is no scientific evidence to show they work. Some may have adverse effects.
Are penis enlargement pills safe?
The FDA warns that many male enhancement products contain unsafe ingredients. A person should check with a doctor before using any vitamins, supplements, or other products for penis enlargement.
What are the risks of penis enlargement surgery?
Surgery is unlikely to significantly increase the size of the penis unless a person has a health condition, such as micropenis. Risks include distortion of the penis, scarring, and infection.
Many males are anxious about their penis size. This has fueled a huge market for enlargement products and techniques.
However, there is no scientific evidence that any of these methods are effective, and many come with serious risks.
Anyone concerned about the size of their penis may wish to talk with a doctor or sex therapist.